Lot #521
Hans Christian Andersen: Stratton, Helen

This lot has closed

Estimate: $200+


Very appealing set of three original ink illustrations by British illustrator Helen Stratton for a publication of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale 'What the Moon Saw,' accomplished in graphite and ink on individual artist boards ranging in size from 4.75 x 6.25 to 7.25 x 9.25, each signed within the illustration with Stratton's monogram, "HS." First published in London in 1866, Andersen's 'What the Moon Saw and Other Tales' revolves around a series of stories told by the Moon to an artist over the course of 32 evenings. Each illustration is annotated in pencil with lines from the particular scene.

The first and smallest of the illustrations depicts a bearded man with lit candlesticks looking at his ghostly reflection in a mirror, a scene from the 18th evening, which describes a suicidal actor who is mocked by theatergoers—"He looked at his pale face in the glass, with eyes half closed, to see if he should look well as a corpse."

The second drawing, numbered 371, shows a scene from the 30th evening, in which a baited bear carouses with three children while a man and woman inspect the goings on from an open door—"Playing at soldiers."

The third drawing, numbered 373, shows a young girl undressing and preparing for bed, with a crescent moon visible through a part in the window curtain—"I peep into the room, between the curtain and the window frame." In overall very good to fine condition, with light overall soiling, and tack holes to the corners. The three illustrations were published in the 1899 first edition of The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, which was published by George Newnes by arrangement of Archibald Constable & Co.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #600 - Ended January 13, 2021