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

Sunday, July 29, 2012


This is another fun little item with a slight Oz connection - sometimes these things are hard to resist!

This is a creamer from the Uplifters social club. The Uplifters was founded by a group of businessmen in the Los Angeles area. L. Frank Baum was one of the original members and was quite active in the group, writing several plays for the members to perform and contributing a few poems and pieces that were published in Songs of Spring, a compilation of poetry from some of the early club dinners. The Oz Film Manufacturing Company had financial backing from some of the prominent club members. The first Uplifters dinner was held in 1913.

The club name has been engraved or stamped on the side of the creamer. I don't know a specific date for this piece, but the lack of a date code indicates that it's earlier than 1928. That was the year Reed & Barton began to use date codes on their silver-plate. It could easily be from the early 1920's, when the group built a clubhouse in Rustic Canyon. The club continued, with many well known members, until it disbanded in 1947.

This particular creamer may well date from after Baum's involvement with the club as he died in 1919 - but there's always a chance it might be from some of the earlier dinners!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Richardson's Book

Here's an unusual book that doesn't turn up very often - this is a copy of  Book of Drawings by Fred Richardson from 1899. It's a lovely collection of artwork done by Frederick Richardson for the Chicago Daily News newspaper. Richardson was the illustrator for L. Frank Baum's Queen Zixi of Ix, and the original printing of A Kidnapped Santa Claus, as well as many other children's classics.

This seems to be his earliest book - it's a compilation of newspaper drawings  and features a range of artwork from editorial cartoon to lovely fantasy images. Just like W.W. Denslow and John R. Neill, Richardson started as a newspaper artist - it seems to be a common beginning for many of the great illustrators of the period!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Always Looking...

A couple weeks ago was the 22nd annual Twin Cities Book Fair. I've managed to hit every one, as I'm a firm believer in getting out to look for interesting items in person, when the opportunity arises - over the years I've picked up a number of good pieces. This year just helped to confirm that it pays to keep your eyes open at book fairs and antique stores, as well as on the internet - the prize was a Reilly & Britton dust jacket for The Patchwork Girl of Oz, from 1913!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Happy 4th of July!

Once again, it's the time of year for Oz conventions! In California, the Winkie Convention is being held July 27 - 29 in Pacific Grove. This year's theme is Sky Island, celebrating its 100th birthday, as well as the 121st birthday of Ruth Plumly Thompson. More information can be found here, and a Winkie Con tribute page can be seen here.

This year I'll be attending the National Convention being held August 17 - 19 in Holland, Michigan. I've been working on a project for the convention over the past several months, and will actually make it to the event! More info on the National Convention can be found here - celebrating Oz-related islands, castles and homes.