Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. From the Little White Bird - J. M. Barrie, Arthur Rackham 1912 - Hodder & Stoughton, London - First Thus : Best edition with Rackham’s Illustrations interspersed amongst the text. Large and finely bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, and with 50 delightful illustrations by Rackham who 'seems to have dropped out of some cloud in Mr. Barrie’s fairyland, sent by a special providence to make pictures in tune to his genius' - Pall Mall Gazette.

In
Peter Pan In Kensington Gardens, Peter, not wanting to grow up, spent his time amongst the enchanted birds, trees, animals, and magical folk of the park, he also meets and falls in love with a little girl named Maimie Mannering. Peter and Maimie were developed by Barrie into the slightly older Peter Pan and Wendy, for the play Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up.

‘The still air is filled with the ringing of hundreds of little fairy bells,
but the sweetest sound of all,
is the fluting of Peter Pan’s pipes as he calls to the spring to make haste,
because with the spring comes Wendy.'
  Following the great success of his stage play. Barrie asked Rackham to provide the illustrations after seeing the exhibition of his work for Rip Van Winkle. The lavish Christmas gift book established Rackham as the leading illustrator of his day. First published in 1906, Rackham's illustrations for Peter Pan were reprinted several times before this new 1912 edition was produced, with several new illustrations, including a new frontispiece. Considered the best edition of this title, being in a larger format with the plates now bound throughout the text in their proper order, rather than grouped together at the end; it also includes the first appearance of the new colour frontispiece.

Arthur Rackham (1867-1939), English illustrator and water-colourist. One of the foremost and most productive of the Edwardian illustrators, with a preference for illustrating books of a mystical, magic or legendary background. Aided by advances in colour printing at the beginning of the 20th century, his imaginative eye saw all forms with the eyes of childhood and created a world that was half reassuring and half frightening, whilst adding a delightfully humorous flourish to many of his illustrations, although he can descend into darker depths as seen for Wagner and Edgar Allen Poe.

References: House,
Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists 424. Bleiler, Checklist of Fantastic Literature 126. Book Collector No.271, 'The Great Illustrators'.

Quarto (binding size 27.9x23.1cm), pp. [4] ix [1] [2] 123 [1][2].
  Exquisitely bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe in full native red oasis morocco, Spine with raised bands, compartments with single gilt filet borders enclosing gilt character tools, twin morocco labels lettered in gilt, single gilt filet borders to boards and edges, hand-marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Original gilt decorated gilt cloth cover and spine bound in at rear.   Condition: Fine   Ref: 110726   Price: HK$ 23,000