Thursday, March 28, 2024

What a Doll!

The Patchwork Girl of Oz is one of my favorite Baum Oz books. When I was ten I made a Patchwork Girl myself. I'd found some patchwork print fabric, my mom bought me several yards of the stuff, and knowing little of patterning I folded it in half, and asked my sister to lie down on it and I traced her! My dad sewed the two halves together. There's more to the story - but I've already blogged about that once. You can reread it by clicking here:

When I was a few years older, I learned from Dick Martin and David Greene's The Oz Scrapbook (1977) that there was a commercially produced Patchwork Girl doll manufactured in 1924. I had to have one! Well, it turned out those dolls were almost as scarce as Woozy hairs. But a couple years ago I finally got one.

Me and my 1924 Patchwork Girl toy.

They toy is in pretty good condition for being 99 years old. The Scraps toy is made of oilcloth printed front and back with a likeness of the Patchwork girl, the edges are serged together, and stuffed with kapok.

The doll was the brainchild of L. Frank Baum's eldest son, Frank Joslyn Baum. It was sold separately at first but the project flopped, and the younger Baum eventually sold some of them to Oz publisher Reilly & Lee where they were sold as part of a boxed set alongside a copy of the book.

The even rarer "Boxed set" of doll and book.

There were four dolls in all - Scraps, Jack Pumpkinhead, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman. So far, I only have Scraps. If anyone wants to help round out my collection drop me an email or leave a comment.

Copyright © 2024 David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 4, 2024

Map of Oz Monday - To Help You Find the Way to Oz

Circa 1949 to 1959
The Map of Oz Monday series has been one of my most followed blog threads. While I have yet to complete my discussion of the various iterations of the Oz Club's maps (I promise I will get back to it!), I am delighted to offer a rather different installment today.

About ten days ago Eric and I were contacted by an elderly woman who wanted to know if we were interested in a book she had to sell. It was a copy of the 1949-1959 edition of Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz with the rather ugly cover label from that era. I actually didn't own a copy of that edition, as I always found it rather, well, ugly. But this copy was in beautiful condition and had its dust jacket. I offered her a fair price and the deal seemed to be complete. 

But then she mentioned she also had a tattered Map of Oz, partially colored in with crayons and pens, and which also had some "writing" on it, which she mentioned, I think, as a possible defect. Being an Oz map buff, I asked for a scan and she kindly supplied one.

Click to Enlarge

This is what used to be thought of as the "Coloring Contest Map," and I originally blogged about it under that name. But a few weeks after my original post I obtained a scan of the "ACTUAL Coloring Contest Map." Click on either link to read those earlier posts.

As you see on the "LAND OF OZ" side, there's a bit of crayoning in the Emerald City. A minor defect, but I already own a fine condition copy of this map. But turn the map over to the "SURROUNDING COUNTRIES" side and one sees a good deal more crayoning and some outlining of the river systems in pen.

Click to Enlarge

But what's that writing in the top right corner? 

Why, it's a cheery and cozy wish from Ruth Plumly Thompson herself! Needless to say, I bought the map, as well as the copy of Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. Eric and I felt a need to be ethical, so we told the woman what and whose the handwriting was. She was very grateful that we were honest, and we worked out a very fair price.

It then developed that the woman had a large collection of letters from various children's authors she had written to as a young teen in the mid-1950s. She now wished to find the letters a good home and make some extra money. 

I will be helping her sell that collection over the coming weeks. She has letters, ephemera, and a few photos from the likes of Laura Ingalls WilderLois LenskiMaud Hart LovelaceMarguerite HenryStephen W. Meader, illustrator Wesley DennisHelen Fuller OrtonMarguerite de Angeli, and early science fiction author and author of many books on dogs and horses Col. S. P. Meek. There is also a 1934 letter to her father from President Roosevelt, and a long letter from poet Winifred Rawlins, including a hand-written poem called "Winter Solstice."

I will be selling the letters over the coming weeks on eBay. If you are interested in any of the letters, you can check my eBay seller name: hungrytigerboy over the next month or so - or drop me a message and I'll let you know when any particular letter is listed for sale.

The kind woman who is selling the letters and who sold me the book and map said she had no recollection of how or when she obtained the map. She didn't know who Ruth Plumly Thompson was and had never written to her. Possibly that copy of Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz was sent to her as a gift from a relative near Philadelphia and Thompson had done a local signing of maps? The map was found folded in quarters, laid inside the book.

In any case, the map has found a fine home now - mine!

If you would like to read the entire Map of Oz Monday series CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. Follow thru links appear at the end of each blog post to take you to the next entry.

Copyright © 2024 David Maxine. All rights reserved.