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

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Margaret Wynne

Another Rand McNally title with a W. W. Denslow cover - Margaret Wynne, by Adeline Sergeant, published in 1898. Denslow's trademark seahorse signature can be seen at the lower right, outside the border of the title box. This is a rather worn copy, and the colors appear a bit dull. A fresher copy might be more striking!

This isn't one of Denslow's more imaginative efforts, and it uses elements seen in a number of his other cover designs - namely, the coat of arms crest and the decorative fleur-de-lis, as well as a wrap-around design.

Adeline Sergeant also wrote A Valuable Life, which received a much more evocative treatment from Denslow in 1897.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Polychrome Window

I've wanted to do a stained glass piece based on this illustration by John R. Neill, from 1909's The Road to Oz, for a long time. The image shows Polychrome, the rainbow's daughter, returning to her rainbow - her father scoops her up as her sisters welcome her back. The illustration is quite elaborate, and makes this an interesting challenge to translate into glass.

The first step is drawing the pattern which will be used for cutting the glass and assembling the window. This involves breaking the image down into individual pieces that are capable of being cut from glass. Facial details will be painted and fired - this window will include a lot of painting!

The Rainbow's head has had its first firing - shading and color are built up through multiple layers and firings.

Here's the finished cartoon - together with a piece of glass that certainly looks like a rainbow to me!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Denslow's Christmas Tales

On December 14th, 1902, the New York Herald published four comic pages by W. W. Denslow. These were Denslow's Christmas Tales, and used artwork Denslow was preparing for his series of picture books published in 1903, with additional titles in 1904. I've recently obtained a set of these pages, courtesy of Cindy at Wonderful Books of Oz .

The four stories are told in verse, and Denslow has revised each one from the traditional version, to remove the "horrors" of the original. Hence, Red Riding Hood's wolf is tamed, Humpty Dumpty Jr. is hardboiled to prevent breakage, the Giant becomes a sideshow exhibit, and little Golden Hair becomes housekeeper for the Three Bears and stays with them. The same changes occur in the picture book versions, but the stories are rewritten in prose with additional illustrations. 

The newspaper pages are bright and colorful, and would certainly have caught the eye of a young reader. These were part of a Sunday Christmas Edition supplement - Red Riding Hood was the cover page, Humpty Dumpty and Three Bears were the interior pages 4 and 5, and Jack and the Beanstalk was the final page. Modern newspapers certainly don't compare to this!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Land of Oz Library

I couldn't resist showing this piece - unfortunately it's not in my collection, just passing through my hands to another collector!

This is the boxed Wonderful Land of Oz Library, released in 1939 by Rand McNally. This set contained reprints of the six Little Wizard stories (two to a book), and Junior Editions (or adaptations) of six of L. Frank Baum's full length Oz books. The individual books turn up frequently, but you don't often see a full boxed set - this is the first one I've seen in person!