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Lot 2: ANDERSEN, HANS CHRISTIAN. Nye Eventyr. [-Anden Samling].


Platinum House

by Swann Auction Galleries

November 20, 2012

New York, NY, USA

Live Auction
Past Lot
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Description: FIRST APPEARANCE OF "THE UGLY DUCKLING," "THE SNOW QUEEN" AND OTHER CLASSICS. ANDERSEN, HANS CHRISTIAN. Nye Eventyr. [-Anden Samling]. Two parts in 1 volume, with half-titles, titles, and dedication leaves. Contemporary 1/2 calf over green marbled boards, spine worn with portions lost, covers rubbed, lacking free endpapers; some staining and soiling to title and several other leaves; preserved in custom 1/2 green morocco clamshell box. Copenhagen: Reitzel, 1844 [-45]

Notes: first edition, first issue, in early binding. rare. These are the works that brought Andersen international fame, including "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Snow Queen." For this series of Nye Eventyr (New Tales), the author indicated his seriousness of purpose by dropping his earlier sub-title "Fortalte for Børn" (Told for Children). Andersen's work was published to universal acclaim. "It was not until 1843/4 that the appearance of 'The Ugly Duckling' swept them [Andersen's fairy tales] into general favour" (Printing and the Mind of Man 299). "All four stories [in the first part] are original and owe no debt to folk tale or myth . . . These were the most mature and perfectly constructed tales he had written, and though some of them at once became and have remained favourites of children, Andersen here melds the childlike and the profound with exceptional artistry" (Wullschlager, Hans Christian Andersen, p. 231).

The 850 copies of the first part were published on November 10, 1843, with the customary holiday post-dating of the title-page to 1844. The first installment contains "The Ugly Duckling," "The Nightingale," "The Top and the Ball," and "The Angel." The second installment (December 1844, dated 1845) contains "The Snow Queen" and "The Fir Tree." A third installment appeared in April 1845.

Andersen's legacy as a creator of fairy tales is unparalleled. Before him, the Grimms in Germany and Perrault in France had collected folk tales from traditional oral sources, but "Andersen was the first writer to treat this peasant form as a literary genre and to invent new tales which entered the collective consciousness with the same mythic power as the ancient, anonymous ones" (Wullschlager, p. 3).

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