Auctions | November 13, 2013

<i>The Wonderful Wizard of Oz</i> Coming Up at Bonhams

NEW YORK—Bonhams Fine Books & Manuscripts sale on December 11 will feature a superb first edition copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, one of only two known copies signed and inscribed by both the author, L Frank Baum, and the illustrator, William Wallace Denslow (est. $80,000-120,000). Printed in 1900, this extraordinarily rare pre-publication copy retains its first state binding, with a green, unserifed publisher's imprint. Denslow's signature seahorse symbol graces both the spine and his inscription, and errors corrected after publication can be found throughout the marvelous text. More impressive still is Denslow's original drawing of a little girl in a printed dress and fancy hat, identified as Miss Edna Wilkins, on the front free end paper. The copy was likely a gift from Denslow to Miss Edna, the daughter of his close friend. 

"This splendid copy of Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a rare find," said Michael Patrick Hearn, Oz bibliographer and Bonhams consultant for Illustration Art and Children's Books. "It was completely unknown to me and has never been on public view before. Not only is it in such good shape, it is very rare to have a copy inscribed by both author and illustrator. The only other known double signed copy is at Harvard. It is fitting that it was presented to a little girl who must have been about the same age as Dorothy in the book. A real treasure."
Additional Oz items of interest include drawings and printing plates from the series' second illustrator, John Rea Neill. His front cover art from The Scalawagons of Oz will be available (est. $15,000-20,000), as well as his endpaper design for The Wonder City of Oz (est. $10,000-12,000). 

Serious Oz collectors are sure to delight in the original, hand-painted, one of a kind sign from the Ozcot Wizard of Oz Lodge near Bass Lake, Indiana, featuring the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman taken from W. W. Denslow's original illustrations (est. $1,500-2,000). The Lodge was operated by L Frank Baum's son Harry and his wife Brenda between 1960-1967, and was the site of the earliest conventions of the International Wizard of Oz Club.

The Fine Books and & Manuscripts Auction will take place on December 11 at Bonhams New York. The auction will preview at Bonhams December 7-10. 

A complete catalog is available at