I've been taking a bit of a summer break from blogging - but this weekend was the local annual antiquarian book fair, so I thought a post was in order. There was actually very little of interest for me this year at the fair, but I did find a W. W. Denslow cover variant that I needed.
The King of the Mountains is one of the most picturesque covers Denslow designed for Rand McNally. On the right are two copies of the book in my collection. The first one I bought was rather rough, but I was happy to find a copy of the book. Later, I was able to upgrade to a very nice example, far brighter and cleaner than the first. But, neither of those books had Denslow's signature seahorse on the cover. In fact, most copies I ran across lacked the seahorse.
At the book fair, I ran across an inexpensive copy of the title complete with seahorse. It's even in decent condition, with some minor wear. What interests me, aside from the seahorse signature in the lower right corner, is how much different the color is - the background is a teal fabric, rather than plain blue, and the king's hair and moustache are stamped in a light grey, rather than a bright white. The overall effect is a bit more muted and balanced than the later printings, which altered the subtle colors.
Denslow was creative in his color choices for the Rand McNally book covers, and it's nice to see what the original choices were!