Marcus Ward & Co Limited: London, nd (1884?). Item #99-2686
Color illustr, 6.5 x 6, patterned blue cloth, stamped in gilt and light blue, cover design has pictures of Little Boy Blue, Blackbirds in a Pie, The Cat and the Fiddle, Three Blind Mice, blue endpapers, all edges gilt, unpag. Rubbing and light wear to covers, contents have light soiling and spotting, couple of tiny edge tears, almost three dozen days have birthdays written in else contents very good. This book does not have Kate Greenaway’s name listed as illustrator but the contents match other editions of this title that do bear Greenaway’s name. In "Printed Kate Greenaway A Catalogue Raisonee" variant 1b is almost identical to this copy: blue cloth stamped in gilt and light blue, the same four nursery rhyme characters on front cover, all edges gilt, it deviates with gilt floral and dark blue endpapers. Greenaway’s books’ designs varied dramatically in binding, cover design, endpapers, edges – all on the whim of her publishers. This could explain the different endpapers on this copy. She worked for Marcus Ward from 1868-1878, parting ways with him because he exploited her work (which happened many times in her career) and didn’t adequately pay her for her contributions. This particular edition of "Baby’s Birthday Book" appears to be an example of Marcus Ward’s exploitation of Greenaway. Various dates have been given for this book, from 1884 through 1894. The earliest birthdate written in the book was 1894. The family that owned the book was originally from the metro Detroit area and was related to the prominent Book family. Not in Spielman. Scarce.