BAUM, L. Frank
THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ
Presentation copy, inscribed by both author and illustrator.
Geo M. Hill 1900
Original publisher's primary binding of light green pictorial cloth (i.e. variant A with publisher's name stamped in green at the base of the spine) stamped in red and green. Presentation copy, inscribed by both author, "Most sincerely, L Frank Baum", and illustrator, "To Miss Edna B. Wilkins from B.B.Denslow Sept. 1900" with a pen and ink drawing of a little girl (presumably Edna) in dress and hat.
Edna was the daughter of book collector Charles M. Wilkins, president of the National Electrical Trades Association in Chicago and president of the Wenonah Library Association in Wenonah, Illinois. Her father commissioned his friend Denslow to draw not only his personal bookplate but ones for his wife Julia Rose and his daughter. The little girl evidently was delighted with her design's "big policeman". It was perhaps the most famous of all of Denslow's bookplates, being reproduced in The Inland Printer (June 1900, p. 389) and Wilbur Macy Stone's Some Children's Book-Plates (1901). Denslow inscribed and illustrated this copy in the month of publication and then had Baum add his autograph.
The primary or 'A' binding is by far the rarest and most desirable of the three variants used for the first edition. It and the B binding differ only in the colour of the publisher's imprint at the foot of the spine. It is thought that the A binding was reserved for presentation copies. First editions in any binding inscribed by either author or artist are of the utmost rarity in commerce; the last 35 years of auction records shows just three copies inscribed by Baum and one inscribed by Denslow. Only one other copy inscribed by both author and artist, known to us, the Charles Warren Stoddard copy now in the Houghton Library at Harvard, and that copy is not in primary state. This copy is therefore unique in being a primary state inscribed by author and illustrator and in first rate condition. In very many respects the ultimate copy of this book.
Twenty-four colour plates (including the title page) by W.W. Denslow, and two tone illustrations throughout the text.
A very good copy indeed, bright and clean and without repair to the cloth. Slight tanning to the spine and a little wear to its base. An uncommonly well preserved example.
(Stock Code: 32299)