Antiquarian Ballet Books

Antiquarian Ballet Books


These books belong to my mother, I’m not sure how they’ve ended up in my possession,  but I’ve  had them for years and of course she’s more than welcome to them back whenever she likes. Anyway they’re not really antiquarian as I think that only classes books over 100 years old, but as these date to the 40’s they’re hardly modern! The first one is all about ballerina Anna Pavlova and is filled with the most amazing pictures of her in full costume. It’s also signed by the author with a dedication to my great grandmother in the front, didn’t people use to have such lovely handwriting? Even though it’s really short I’ve only skim read it, but its beautifully written by someone who was obviously enamored by her.

Anna Pavlova - Beaumont

The other book is a quick historical overview of  the English ballet and includes some lovely illustrations and classic photographs. I haven’t read this one as in general I’m not the biggest ballet fan (except of course Matthew Bourne!)  but the pictures are lovely and if someone had the inclination to cut it up the plates would look great framed. I just found out it’s very cheap to buy on amazon so I would guess it had quite a large print run.

The English ballet Turner

Arthur Rackham – 1st Edition Sleeping Beauty

Arthur Rackham – 1st Edition Sleeping Beauty


I’ve owned this first edition of Sleeping Beauty illustrated by Arthur Rackham for a couple of years now and it’s so beautiful I thought I’d do a quick post to share it. For those who don’t know Rackham was a famous British illustrator in the early 20th century known for his unique monochrome style, you can read more about him here on The Arthur Rackham Society site. He’s one of my all time favorite artists so when I found this quite shabby 1st edition selling on eBay for £20 I had to buy it! It dates to 1921, the binding is in poor condition, a few pages are missing from the back and there is some slight foxing, but if it was in mint condition it would have cost a few hundred, way out of my budget. I actually bought it with the intention of taking the plates out and framing them, but I just haven’t had the heart to cut it up. Here are some of the lovely illustrations :-



I also own two more hardback books illustrated by Rackham a 1978 edition of “Poe’s Tales of Mystery” and a modern copy of  “Alice in Wonderland”. I really want an early edition of J A Barrie’s “Peter Pan”  illustrated by Rackham.