Today’s very quick pit stop at a charity shop yielded a few interesting vintage children’s books:
We’d been to the Reddish Vale farm with my friend Emma and her girls; I spotted the Salvation Army shop on our way back so quickly found somewhere to park and persuaded the kids to come for a look.
I’ve already got a copy of this version of Rumpelstiltskin from the last car boot sale we did, but I can never leave these editions if I see them. The Margaret Tarrent book didn’t immediately look that interesting, especially as it’s falling to pieces, but the pictures looked pretty enough.
This one’s a bit like how I’ve felt today:
Just without the smacking with a stick!
Born in 1888, Margaret Winifred Tarrant was the daughter of a landscape painter, Percy Tarrant, and studied at three different colleges of Art: Clapham, Heatherley’s and Guildhall. Her main areas were children and religious illustrations, most notably pictures of fairies. One of her first commissions was for an edition of ‘The Water Babies’.
(information from Wikipedia and Pookpress.co.uk)
Having never heard of the illustrator before, but being familiar with the style, I’ve looked at a few more pictures online. They’re not really to my taste: I probably wouldn’t display them in our children’s rooms, but I can see that in the right setting they would lovely.
I love that picture actually, but the nursery rhyme is ‘Bye Baby Bunting, daddy’s gone a-hunting.’ Not one for a veggie family…
I’ve got an idea that these could be framed up to sell. The book is falling apart, so I wouldn’t feel too bad about cutting it up a bit more. As per usual, I’ll probably just stash it somewhere with good intentions. I’m just not sure how much to charge for a print; do I frame it or sell it as it is? Suggestions would be appreciated!
Half of the book is nursery rhymes and the other half is fairy tales. Some, such as Sleeping Beauty, lend themselves to some lovely pictures:
And the following are from Tom Thumb:
Then others just don’t really work as well. ‘Babes in the Wood’ would probably scar any child for life…
Creepy uncle and men fighting with knives? Not sure anyone would want those on the nursery walls!
I’m trying not to show the book to Corliss because I think she’d like these pictures, and then it would be yet another project for her bedroom that I never get round to.
My favourite picture probably is either the Bye Baby Bunting one or the Ring O’ Roses. Not this creepy picture, that’s for sure:
It’s the eyes… They follow you round the room. I’m not putting that one on the walls either.
Overall, I’m pleased I found this today. Margaret Tarrant is another illustrator to add to the list of ones to keep an eye out for. Just not a creepy, plum-pie eating eye…