A Rare and Choice Collection of Queens & Kings and Other Things. The Pictures, Poetry and strange, but veritable, Histories designed and written by S.A. The Princess Hesse Schwartzbourg
London: Chatto & Windus, 1874. The lithograph double-page illustrations are fabulous, printed in colour and gold, very unusual and creative. Printed by the Dalziel Brothers at their Camden Press.
In the original publisher's cloth (there seem to be three variants: green, red or blue) - this one is green. Boards with wonderful unusual decorations in gilt and black. Corners a little bumped. All edges gilt. Leaves are paginated by letters A - U. Printed one side only, each recto features a full page illustration, beneath which is a rhyme. On each facing page is text expanding upon the histories of the various characters. Preface page partially detached, but present. Two leaves with light marginal tears, some minor foxing throughout. Tiny hole to bottom of page T. Small closed tear to rear free endpaper.
Letter from the printer (tipped-in) to front. This is from Gilbert Dalziel, and explains the printing history, the arrangements behind the printing, and the relationship with the artist and printer. 345 by 285mm (13½ by 11¼ inches). Isabelle Émilie de Tessier (1847 – 1890) who worked under the pseudonym Marie Duval, was a French cartoonist, known as co-creator of the seminal cartoon character Ally Sloper (With her husband). She was married to the artist of this work, who is revealed in this letter as Charles H. Ross. Tessier was one of the first female cartoonists in Europe, and one of four female contributors to the British satirical magazine Fun edited by Ross. Duval was also an actress in the English theatre.
Neither Copac, nor any current listings of this work identify Charles H. Ross as the illustrator. Perhaps this is our own small contribution to bibliography!