“Like the sundial, my paint box counts no hours but sunny ones.” – Arthur Rackham
By the turn of the century Rackham was regularly contributing illustrations to children’s periodicals such as Little Folks and Cassell’s Magazine. Yet, it was the publication of Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle by Heinemann in 1905 that particularly brought him into public attention, strengthening again in the following year with J.M.Barrie’s Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. He is widely regarded as one of the leading illustrators from the ‘Golden Age’ of British book illustration, roughly encompassing 1890 until the end of the First World War. During this time, the market for high quality illustrated books was strong, as they were given as Christmas gifts. Many of Rackham’s books were produced in a deluxe limited edition, often vellum bound and/or signed,along with a larger, less ornately bound ‘trade’ edition.