MALTBY, Peg (née Agnes Newberry) (1899-1984)
Pepita’s Baby : the archive of original watercolours by Peg Maltby
A suite of nine original watercolours on card, measuring from 160 x 160mm to 250 x 185 mm, including the original illustrations for the front and back covers. Signed in Maltby’s maiden name ‘Agnes Newberry’ on the front cover; accompanied by a copy of the original publication (Melbourne : Murphett, 1944).
The complete original artwork for one of the most popular books by celebrated Australian children’s author and illustrator Peg Maltby.
‘Peg Maltby was born on the 17th January 1899. She married George Bradley Maltby in 1917. They had four children. Peg and George migrated to Australia in 1924 and lived in Victoria all their lives. In their earlier days, living in Coburg during the Great Depression, Peg supplemented the family income by painting commercial items like chocolate box lids and birthday cards. She became a member of the Victorian Artists` Society and had successful exhibitions featuring her well known “Fairy” paintings. Her biggest success came in 1946 when Murfett published her extremely successful “Peg’s Fairy Book”. This sold over 100,000 copies. The original plates and art work for the book were lost. Angus and Robertson decided that they would like to print another edition, so, at the age of 75, Peg re-did all the artwork. In between the two fairy books, Peg produced over 40 children`s books. Some of the titles were “Nutchen”, “Meet Mr Cobbledick”, “Nursery Rhymes”, “Pip and Pepita” and “Ben and Bella” books about a fairy and pixie couple. In 1947 the family moved to Olinda in the Dandenong Ranges where the cooler climate enabled her to indulge her passion for flowers in an extensive garden featuring rhododenrons and azaleas. She and George also set up a studio where the public could come and see her work. She painted many originals for sale, branching out into the flower paintings and aboriginal figures and faces of which the present work is one. She also made some dioramas of fairy scenes, and many children spent hours looking at the detailed work. George died in 1967 and Peg in 1984.’ (source : Author’s record, AustLit (www.austlit.edu.au), St Lucia: The University of Queensland, 2002-, retrieved 10.01.18).