A Partridge in a Pear Tree
Illustrated by Ben Shahn.
New York: Curt Valentin, 1949. Oblong octavo. Some wear visible on the edges of the string-tied wraps. Printed by the Meriden Gravure Company. Ownership mark on the front end-paper. First edition. Near fine.
"The Twelve Days of Christmas" illustrated by Ben Shahn, an artist and radical better known for his works of social realism. We're especially drawn to his twenty-three gouache paintings exhibited under the name The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti. Curt Valentin, the publisher, was a Jewish art dealer born in Germany who specialized in works the Nazis identified as "degenerate." A lovely volume with drawings and script that now seem like archetypal examples of the mid-century modern print aesthetic. Reprinted by the MOMA in 1964.