Baum, L. Frank. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Chicago & New York: Geo. M. Hill Co., 1900. First edition, first issue in first binding, signed and inscribed by both Baum and illustrator W.W. Denslow, who also provides an original signed drawing. $80,000 - 120,000
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Children’s Books from Europe & America
BAUM, L. FRANK. 1856-1919.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Chicago & New York: Geo. M. Hill Co., 1900.
4to. 24 color plates and illustrations throughout by W.W. Denslow. Original pale green cloth stamped in green and red. 3 plates detached, offset from previously attached clipping to publisher’s advert page, cloth with some faint soiling and stray spots, but an excellent copy overall, superior to most copies encountered.
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, IN FIRST STATE BINDING WITH UNSERIFED GREEN SPINE IMPRINT, ONE OF ONLY TWO KNOWN COPIES SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY BOTH THE AUTHOR AND THE ILLUSTRATOR, WITH ORIGINAL SIGNED DRAWING of Miss Edna B. Wilkins, the subject of the inscription in floral printed dress and fancy hat by Denslow. See preceding lot for a description of the acquaintance between Denslow and the Wilkins family.
The only other double-signed presentation copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz known to us is the Charles Warren Stoddard copy in the Houghton Library at Harvard.
The complex printing history of the original George M. Hill edition has been hotly debated for years. Jacob Blanck in Peter Parley to Penrod (1938) identified three printings of the first edition: States X, Y and Z. The major distinction between the three states was the copyright page. (The “Y” state may have been merely a mixed copy.) No doubt due to the haste in which the book was produced in 1900, Hill unfortunately printed Denslow’s pictorial copyright page on the verso of the “Introduction” rather than on the verso of the title page as required by law. Some copies, as is the case with the present copy, left the publisher before the mistake was discovered. To correct the error, Hill had the verso of the title-page of remaining copies rubber stamped with the copyright notice: “Copyright 1899/By L. Frank Baum and W. W. Denslow./All Rights Reserved.” It is in the earliest state binding with the publisher’s spine imprint in unserifed dark green with the “C” and “O” printed separately rather than as a unit, known in only a few surviving copies. It also contains the earliest state of the color plates with mistakes intact: two blotches on the moon, facing p 34; and a red horizon line, facing p 92. When the book went back to press in late 1900, many of the textual errors were corrected (including the copyright notice printed in its proper place) and the publisher’s spine imprint was printed in serifed green or red. Mixed state copies resulted from the binding of earlier sheets with the later printing. This copy comprises State A of the text sheets, color plates and binding cases with all textual errors as described in Riley, A Bookbinder’s Analysis of the First Edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 2011, pp 26-29 and 35-47. Denslow inscribed it the month of publication and then had Baum add his autograph. See also Hanff & Greene I.I.A.