Item #1977 [POPOVA & MAYAKOVSKY] Kon’-ogon’ [i.e. The Fire Horse]. V. Mayakovsky.
[POPOVA & MAYAKOVSKY] Kon’-ogon’ [i.e. The Fire Horse]
[POPOVA & MAYAKOVSKY] Kon’-ogon’ [i.e. The Fire Horse]
[POPOVA & MAYAKOVSKY] Kon’-ogon’ [i.e. The Fire Horse]
[POPOVA & MAYAKOVSKY] Kon’-ogon’ [i.e. The Fire Horse]

[POPOVA & MAYAKOVSKY] Kon’-ogon’ [i.e. The Fire Horse]

Item #1977

Moscow: GIZ, 1ya Obraztsovaya tipogrfiya, 1928. [12] pp., including wrappers. 23,6x19,8 cm. In publishers’ wrappers. Spine is slightly restored, marginal pale foxing on the last 2 pages, otherwise in very good, original condition. Lithographed throughout. First edition. One of the best-known early Soviet children’s books.

On April 12, 1927, Mayakovsky formalized an agreement with the children's literature department of the State Publishing House. On the same day, he submitted the manuscripts of
two children's books, titled "Read it and ride to Paris and China" and " Fire Horse." While in Prague that April in an interview, Mayakovsky expressed his newfound interest in children's literature, stating, "My newest hobby is children’s literature. It is necessary to familiarize children with new concepts, with a new approach to things. The result of this passion is evident in two books: 'On Teamwork' and 'A Journey Around the Earth' (referring to ‘Fire Horse ' and 'Read and Ride to Paris and China'). He further explained, "I set myself the goal of instilling in children some of the most elementary ideas about society, doing this, of course, in the most careful manner." When asked for an example, Mayakovsky shared, "Here, let's say, a short story about a horse on wheels. At the same time, I take this opportunity to explain to the children how many people had to work to make such a horse. Well, let's say, a carpenter, and a painter, and an upholsterer. In this way, the child becomes familiar with the social nature of work. Or I write a book about travel, from which the child learns not only geography but also that one person, for example, is poor, and another is rich, and so on."

Lidia Popova (1903-1951), who is best-known for the illustration to this book, studied in VKHUTEMAS under Alexandra Exter in 1919-1924. After that she was working at the publishing house ‘Young Guard’ and ‘Gosiizdat’, also active in poster design. The bold, geometrical and contrast imagery of the ‘Fire Horse’ became classic, the book would be reprinted with the same set of illustrations until today. During Soviet time, the book held 38 editions, but only one during Mayakovsky’s lifetime.

Worldcat locates copies in US at UPenn and Princeton only.

Price: $16,500.00

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