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

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Early Denslow

Here's an early example of advertising work by W. W. Denslow, the original illustrator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This is one of a set of postcards depicting several Roman Gods as babies, from 1884. This particular card shows a baby Pluto, complete with metallic gold flame and menacing bat. I think it's my favorite of the series.

These were produced for stores to use, adding their own names and addresses - in this case it was the druggist, Frank Butler. Which immediately makes me think of Annie Oakley - but this Frank Butler was a storekeeper in Bellefontaine, Ohio, not a Wild West Show attraction.

The card doesn't bear a Denslow signature, and is very different from the work he would become known for in later years. Several examples of other cards from this series are currently available from Wonderful Books of Oz.


Cindy said...

That bat is quite realistic, isn't it? But creepy. Den did this work for a firm called Baker and Hayes--and the little symbol above the wing is an overlapping B&H that they used to mark their cards.

Bill Campbell said...

I was unaware of these until I saw them on your site!