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    Sale 5316

    Children's & Illustrated Books & Original Illustrations

    18 December 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 102

    Kay Nielsen (Danish, 1886-1957)

    A huntsman vanquishes the seven-headed dragon

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Kay Nielsen (Danish, 1886-1957)
    A huntsman vanquishes the seven-headed dragon
    signed 'Kay.Nielsen.' (upper left) and inscribed 'Two brothers/The Two Brothers, Grimm/Then the dragon made a dart at the hunter, but he swung/his sword round & cut off three of the beast's heads' (on the reverse)
    pencil, pen and black ink and watercolour heightened with bodycolour, gold and silver, unframed
    15 x 10 5/8 in. (38.2 x 27 cm.)


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    Kay Nielsen was born in Copenhagen but studied art in Paris before moving to England in around 1911 and then later to America. He was commissioned to produce illustrations for a number of well known fairy tales including Fairy Tales by Hans Anderson [1924] and Hansel and Gretel, and Other Stories by the Brothers Grimm [1925]. The present work is taken from the latter volume and depicts a scene from the tale of The Two Brothers. Here a hunstman slays a seven-headed dragon by cutting off each of his heads with a magical sword before rescuing a princess who has been offered as a sacrifice to the beast. Nielsen produced twelve colour plates for this collection of fairy tales, each demonstrates his skill as a colourist and his ability to interpret well known stories in a decorative and and inventive manner.

    Special Notice

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    Provenance

    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 19 February 1965, lot 24.


    Literature

    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Hansel and Gretel and Other stories by the Brothers Grimm, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1925, pl.12.