“The Dancing Circle”
Original drawing by
Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
Geoffrey Bles, London
A wonderful original drawing by Pauline Baynes for Prince Caspian, the sequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), and the second book in C.S. Lewis’s Narnia Chronicles.
A real museum piece, and a rare piece of Narnia publishing history.
Pauline Baynes is best known for illustrating some of the most celebrated fantasies of the 20th century, most notably the Narnia Chronicles, as well as several works by J.R.R. Tolkien, whose favourite artist she was. Her wonderful maps of Narnia and Middle-earth (for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) are much sought after.
I am reluctantly selling this drawing from my own personal collection. I acquired it some years ago as part of a larger group, with Pauline signing it herself at the time of the acquisition. A full history of the drawing plus a letter of provenance will be supplied with the artwork. Further details can be obtained from me direct.
The drawing is on a sheet of Reeves’ Bristol Board. The sheet includes Pauline’s signature, directly below the image; she has also copied out a few words from the book, relating to the image (“Only Nikabrik stayed where he was, looking on in silence...”). In addition, the sheet carries a variety of interesting notes and markings by the publisher, relating to the reproduction of the image, and forming an integral part of the history of the piece.
The drawing was published on p. 75 of the first edition of Prince Caspian, and depicts a scene from Chapter VI, “The People that Lived in Hiding”:
Nearer and nearer came the music, a tune wild and yet dreamy, and the noise of many light feet, till at last, out from the wood into the moonlight, came dancing shapes such as Caspian had been thinking of all his life. They were not much taller than Dwarfs, but far slighter and more graceful. Their curly heads had little horns, the upper part of their bodies gleamed naked in the pale light, but their legs and feet were those of goats. “Fauns!” cried Caspian, jumping up, and in a moment they were all round him. It took next to no time to explain the whole situation to them and they accepted Caspian at once. Before he knew what he was doing he found himself joining in the dance. Trumpkin, with heavier and jerkier movements, did likewise and even Trufflehunter hopped and lumbered about as best he could. Only Nikabrik stayed where he was, looking on in silence.
The artwork could be framed in different ways (as per the examples shown below) – either with the whole sheet on view, displayed as a complete artefact; or as a more decorative piece, using a window mount to exclude the publisher’s notes.
Sheet as shown in scans. Note two creases (one to the right of the image, one above), both from storage by publisher; the creases do not affect the image. Pauline has corrected the drawing in two or three places (whiter areas). A piece of tracing paper, for protecting the drawing, is taped to the reverse of the sheet, along the upper edge.
Approximate size of image: 2.6 x 4.7 inches (6.6 x 12 cm).
Approx. size of sheet: 12.4 x 7.5 inches (31.7 x 19 cm).
Pauline Baynes’ Narnia artwork hardly ever comes on the market.
A fabulous piece for the Narnia collector.
One of several Prince Caspian drawings I have available.
Please see the many images below for details.
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Below: drawing enlarged, showing Pauline’s signature just under
Nikabrik the Dwarf, plus descriptive line of text further below.
Below: drawing as published in first edition, 1951
(book not included in auction).
Below: ideas for framing (for reference only:
not included in auction). First two drawings
are also from Prince Caspian, with similar notes
and marks by the publisher.
Below: mount in this case has two windows:
one for drawing itself, the other for Pauline’s title
(publisher’s notes hidden).
Shipping from UK:
All goods are securely packed, with multiple purchases combined where possible. Items are generally mailed within one or two days of receipt of payment. Any customs charges are the responsibility of the buyer.
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For all non-UK countries, secure registered delivery is an extra £5.30, where desired. This
is via Royal Mail’s International Signed For service. Airsure at a little more
is also available for some countries, with the benefit of full
tracking. Signed For is always recommended for high-value items,
but usually optional (I do sometimes make exceptions, particularly for
countries such as Italy or Poland, where the postal service is known to
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