29 June 2005
SALTEN, Felix (1869-1945). Bambi: Eine Lebensgeschichte aus dem Walde. Berlin: Ullstein, 1923.
8o. Original cloth-backed pictorial boards (a little wear to extremities, some minor rubbing and soiling); quarter morocco folding case.
VERY RARE FIRST EDITION of one of the most beloved children's stories of the 20th century. EXTREMELY RARE PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed by Salten on the title-page: "Herrn und Frau Alfred und ...Huennesse(?), zur freundlichen Erinnerung an Wiener Tage. Wien 5/2/23. Felix Salten." Salten (Siegmund Salzmann) was born in Budapest and began writing while working in the insurance business. He was a journalist in Berlin and Vienna, fleeing to Switzerland in 1938. Bambi was published shortly after the end of the first World War. Originally written as an adult novel, this account of the life of a young forest deer from birth to full maturity soon grew in popularity among children to eventually become an internationally recognized classic of children's literature. The first English translation was not printed until 1928. Salten sold the film rights to Bambi in 1933, but received little compensation from the great success of the 1942 Disney film, which brought the story universal fame. No presentation copy has appeared at auction according to American Book-Prices Current since at least 1975.
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