St. Petersburg: Izd. Ekspeditsii zagotovleniia gos. bumag, 1903. First edition. Softcover. Small folio. 12pp. Stapled paper-covered spine over tan wrappers, illustrated with beautifully produced chromolithographs on front and back covers. Multicolored text on front cover. This publication like others in the "Fairy Tales" (Skazki) series, which were illustrated by Bilibin, the acclaimed Russian artist and illustrator, is taken from the works collected by Alexander Afanasyev. The publication contains two classic Russian folk tales. The first six pages contain the story of "Sister Alionushka and Brother Ivanushka" (also known as "Brother and Sister") and the last six is "The White Duck". The first story concerns the escape and survival of a brother and sister from their evil witch stepmother who pursues them. The second story concerns a queen who is transformed into a white duck by a witch. Profusely illustrated throughout with gorgeous, full and half page chromolithographic illustrations and historiated ruling. Wrappers with smudging and foxing to edges of front and back cover. Front cover image mostly unaffected. Some rubbing to spine. Interior with some foxing, smudging and offsetting. Offsetting to the opposite text pages has removed some of the ink and color, abrading the surface of the lithographs (see images). Offsetting from the endpeice to interior back cover. Binding tight. Binding in overall good-, interior in good+ condition. g- to g+. Item #40878
Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin (Russian: Ива́н Я́ковлевич Били́бин; 16 August [O.S. 4 August] 1876 – 7 February 1942) was a 20th-century illustrator and stage designer who took part in the Mir iskusstva, contributed to the Ballets Russes, became co-founder of the 'Soyuz russkih hudožnikov' '(Association of Russian Painters) and since 1937 a member of the Soyuz hudožnikov SSSR (Painters Association of the USSR). Throughout his career, he was inspired by Slavic folklore.