(GOBLE,WARWICK)illus. WATER BABIES by Charles Kingsley. London: Macmillan 1909. Featured here is the LIMITED EDITION OF THE BOOK IN A FULL MOROCCO BINDING HOUSED IN A LARGE PICTORIAL CLAMSHELL BOX WITH AN ORIGINAL WATERCOLOR USED IN THE BOOK. The book is a thick quarto measuring 9" x 11 1/4", bound in a full blue morocco binding by Sangorski and Sutcliffe. The book spine is decorated in gilt with raised bands and the covers are heavily decorated with triple gilt rules and floral decorated corners. Inside the covers there are gilt dentelles and silk doublures (silk lining). The book is the magnificent DELUXE EDITION, LIMITED TO ONLY 260 COPIES printed on hand-made paper and illustrated by Goble with 32 mounted color plates with lettered tissue guards. The book is housed in a velvet lined cradle. On the opposite side of the box is a special insert holding the original watercolor signed by Goble that appears as a full page color plate on page 32 of the book. The actual image measures 13 1/2" wide x 9 1/4" high and is captioned "Play by me, bathe in me mother and child". It is a beach scene with the mother and the water baby reclining on the sand, with the ocean, rocks and beach related flora surrounding them. This image is duplicated in gilt on the cover of the book and also on the cover of the box. The box is 13 1/2" wide x 17 3/4" high with the backstrip rounded to simulate the spine of a book with extensive gilt decorations and raised bands. Goble's Water Babies is arguably the best edition of this classic story. In his book "Early Children's Books" (p.80), Eric Quayle comments on all the various editions of Water Babies and adds about Goble's edition: "None of these in either artistic or financial terms approaches the sumptuous edition of 1909." Nice copies of the limited edition are rare, an offering like this is a once in a lifetime copy.