I found another gem in Public Domain: a book Puss in Boots, rewritten by unknown author and illustrated by one of best engravers from second half of 19 th century – Josiah Wood Whymper (1813-1903).
Book was published by John Murray, well known London publisher in 1900. It has twelve colored plates (with a title) and this is how Josiah Wood Whymper saw the story about Puss in Boots:
I found another interesting fact: black and white prints were sold for 3/4 pence and colored ones for 2 pence. In those time a lot of books were printed in black and white techniques and colored by hand later. After improving the color printing they started to print books with empty pages in place of illustrations and later glue color plates on them.
In both cases a lot of additional work was needed and many titles were available in both (black and white – cheaper and color – more expensive) versions. I can’t say if this book was hand painted or color plates were glued, but looking at the quelity I am inclined to the later option.
Anyway – results are really impressive!