Last week's auction held by Bloomsbury Auctions in New York featured several rare Oz and related pieces, including original artwork by John R. Neill. But the piece that intrigued me, which unfortunately I didn't win, was this lovely costume design by Caroline Siedle for Babes in Toyland.
I've talked about Siedle here before, as she designed costumes for the Broadway production of The Wizard of Oz among a number of other shows. It's interesting that there seems to be confusion about her name - I've seen Siedle, Seidle, and Siedel used in various places! I don't know which is correct, but her obituary spells the name Siedle. I believe this is also the spelling on her tomb at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York. (After writing this this morning, it occurred to me that the obvious way to figure out the answer is to look at her signature! She spelled her name Siedle.)
This particular design was for the Moth Queen - synopses of the original storyline for Babes in Toyland seem to vary, but I believe the Moth Queen helps to rescue the Babes from the Spider's Forest, a scene that sounds reminiscent of the rescue of Dorothy and her companions from the Poppies in The Wizard of Oz - not too surprising as that was inspiration for this later show! I found the photo shown above, featuring the moths, on an Australian website.