Melbourne: Murfett, n.d., circa 1947-1951.
A very scarce set of six volumes of the Ben and Bella series, each in first edition. Peg Maltby (1899-1984) worked in England as an illustrator of chocolate-box lids, before emigrating to Melbourne where she held successful exhibitions of her watercolours in the 1930s and 1940s. Her talent as a flower painter caught the eye of the publishers Murfett who commissioned fifteen paintings of fairies and gypsies in woodland settings, which became her first book, Peg's Fairy Book. This work was overwhelmingly successful, selling 180,000 copies in five editions. She followed this success with the Pip and Pepita series, and then Ben and Bella. The titles in this collection are: Ben and Bella Down on the Farm; Ben and Bella in the Clouds; Ben and Bella in the Hills; Ben and Bella and the Apple Tree; Ben and Bella in the Gardens; and Forever Cuckoo!Item #1175
Six works, folio, illustrations; near fine in original coloured wrappers, preserved in a folding cloth box.
Price (AUD): $2,200.00 other currencies