HESSE, Hermann (1877-1962). Autograph illustrated manuscript, signed in two places, of his prose fairy-tale Piktor's Verwandlungen, Monat: November 1923.
4° (224 x 179 mm). Calligraphic manuscript in black ink on rectos only of 12 leaves of Minerva laid paper. Illustrated by Hesse with 15 watercolour vignettes and two decorative borders. 1-page printed prospectus laid-in. Decorated title-page, decorated dedication page, decorated tail-piece. (Negligible soiling to a few leaves). Contemporary green roan gilt, upper cover lettered (spine ends and corners lightly rubbed, a few shallow bumps, light toning to endpapers).
A FINELY WRITTEN MANUSCRIPT VIVIDLY ILLUSTRATED BY HESSE, in his typically studied hand, and the text embellished by vignettes and borders in watercolour washes over ink and pencil. Hesse, who began painting as a pastime while undergoing psychoanalysis with a student of Jung, habitually sold his hand-illustrated manuscript poems and tales on commission. This example includes the rare printed prospectus, which gives details of a typescript issue, and a manuscript issue. The section relating to the typescript version has been crossed-out, possibly by Hesse, in pencil and black ink. Milek records approximately 14 illustrated manuscripts of the Piktor story produced by Hesse between the early 1920s and the 1950s, and Hesse's records add another 21, though Hesse does not indicate whether these are autographs or typescripts. The text, which varies from the first edition published two years later, recounts the fabulous adventures of Piktor, who travels to Paradise, encounters the Tree of Life, a serpent, a brighty feathered bird, a flower-headed giraffe and finally is himself incarnated as a branch of the Tree of Life. Milek Hesse, II-111.