I love when I find something I've never seen before. And this book ... nope; I've never seen these illustrations before. Gordon Ross is the artist and I don't believe I've ever come across his work before.
Ross was a nationally known illustrator back at the turn of the last century. He was born in Scotland in 1872 and came to the US on a clipper ship in 1901. He worked for newspapers in San Francisco and in New York and became nationally known for his illustrations.
The Children's Münchausen, published in 1921 by Houghton Mifflin Company of New York, are a gathered group of children's stores and are very much like Paul Bunyan stories. They are *very* tall tales indeed. The stories in the book were taken from original stories credited to Münchausen and retold in a form more fitting for children (this particular English volume was 'retold' by John Martin).
It seems that Baron von Münchausen was quite the character. From Wikipedia ~
Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchhausen (11 May 1720 – 22 February 1797) was a German baron born in Bodenwerder, who in his youth was sent to serve as page to Anthony Ulrich II of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, and later joined the Russian military. He served until 1750, in particular taking part in two campaigns against the Ottoman Turks.
Returning home, Münchhausen supposedly told a number of outrageous tall tales about his adventures. According to the stories, as retold by others, the Baron's astounding feats included riding cannonballs, travelling to the Moon, and escaping from a swamp by pulling himself up by his own hair (or bootstraps, depending on who tells the story).
You'll find all these lithographs, as well as all my other children's book art, in my Flickr Photo Stream. The Baron's escapades, captured in these lithographs, aren't in any of my shops yet ~ hopefully soon!
Great stuff. A wonderful find. Enjoy the pics!