Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Jack Restored

Last fall I blogged about a drawing from The Marvelous Land of Oz that I purchased at auction. This happens to be one of my favorite Oz books by L. Frank Baum, and I was happy to be able to add an illustration from the book to my collection. It's a lovely image of Tip admiring the newly created Jack Pumpkinhead, and it was used as a color plate in the published book. Sadly, the original art had seen quite a bit of wear and tear, and there was extensive damage with a number of cracks in the illustration board. Nevertheless, it was an opportunity to acquire one of John R. Neill's first Oz illustrations, from 1904.

Last week I picked up the newly revived Jack Pumpkinhead, and I'm very pleased with the results of the restoration. I worked with an art conservator based at the local museum, and she did a fine job of bringing Jack back! No one can put this piece back into its original condition, but the damage has been greatly minimized. Restoration of this sort is not an inexpensive proposition, but I felt this piece was well worth preserving for future years!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Denslow Scarecrows

In my last post, I showed a piece of original art by W. W. Denslow featuring the Scarecrow and Tin Man, from Denslow's 1904 comic page. Just a week and a half ago, a very rare original drawing from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was sold at Swann Galleries in New York. This is one of only a handful ever offered at auction - most of the original art from this book is in public collections. I would certainly have loved to add this piece to my own collection!

The illustration is from the opening of Chapter 4, and shows the Scarecrow being created by a Munchkin farmer. In the book, the drawing is printed primarily in light blue, with text covering part of the image.

Denslow drawings of Oz characters don't turn up very often, but the last two months have been surprising! Between this piece and the four that were offered at Bonham's in December, the Scarecrow has been a popular fellow -  those four pieces can be seen below: