IF by Rudyard Kipling – House of Art Gift Motto


IF was written by Rudyard Kipling in 1895 and advertised in the 1908 House of Art sales catalog selling for $.75 plus framing fee. Illustrated by Buzz Ware IF is a lithograph hand colored giving the motto a softer look than the harsh printed colored inks. What is also special are the top image’s simplicity, two hand colored vignettes and “Copyright by Rudyard Kipling House of Art, N.Y. No. 182—Printed in U.S.A.” printed at the motto’s lower area. The frame, glass and dust cover are original. At some point, the brass hanger was replaced with a larger one.


Dimensions: 7 3/4” x 10 3/4”


1 in stock

IF was written in 1895 by Joseph Rudyard Kipling, the British Nobel laureate of the times. And was first published in Rewards and Fairies, 1910. The poem is written in the form of paternal advice to the poet’s son, John. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If%E2%80%94 Rewards and Fairies is a historical fantasy book by Rudyard Kipling published in 1910. It consists of a series of short stories set in historical times with a linking contemporary narrative. Each story is preceded and followed by a poem, including If—, often described as Britain’s favorite poem. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rewards_and_Fairies 

The motto was also published in the 1908 House of Art sales catalog, page 15. (Note in the above link Wikipedia dates the poem first being published in 1910. In each of their respective fields, they are both correct. It is the word “first” in Wikipedia that could be considered incorrect.) The illustrator was Hamilton “Buzz Ward best known for illustrating magazines and children’s books. He is best known for his illustrations in Mother Goose and Her Rhymes, 1915.  The publishing company was located in New York City on 59 West 19th Street. Their 1908 sales catalog sold IF for $.75, extra for their framing. Frames were available in antique and color finishes.

IF is a hand-colored lithograph, illustrated by Buzz Ware. (Note: The watercolor runs pass the black lines.)  Watercolor gives the motto a softer look, not harsh like printed inks.

The motto is framed in a cream painted wood frame. Painted cream frames were not the norm. Most were dark woods, silver or gold. The frame is original along with glass and back dust cover paper. The brass hanger is not. Smaller brass hangers are original.  IF is in good condition for its vintage age.

Dimensions: 7 3/4” x 10 3/4”


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