THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS (LOTS 399-418)
Harry Hargreaves was born in Manchester in 1922 and began contributing cartoons to his school newspaper Arrow from the age of 12, and his first cartoon for the Manchester Evening News was published 2 years later. Hargreaves trained as an engineer and served in the RAF during the Second World War, but he never stopped drawing and after he was decommissioned he joined the newly founded Gaumont British Animation studio. From 1950 he turned to freelancing contributing a regular cartoon strip called 'The Hayseeds' to the London Evening News, and perhaps one his most popular creations 'The Bird' to Punch from 1958. He is perhaps best remembered for his series of drawings of Michael Bond's Paddington Bear for the Blue Peter Annual from 1969-1980.
Hargreaves's incredible talent as an animal cartoonist and illustrator is demonstrated in the beautifully detailed illustrations that he produced for a 1983 edition of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, which are offered here for sale. Pitched midway between Ernest Shepard and Arthur Rackham, the drawings are enchanting and capture the characteristics and movement of the animals as well as portraying the humour of Grahame's classic story. It proved to be a winning combination and the edition was reprinted several times.