Here is a fabulous book, Denslow’s Night Before Christmas, designed and illustrated by WW. Denslow of Wizard of Oz fame. This is the scarce British Heinemann 1903 edition, which has the rare red paper-covered boards also used in the Dillingham 1st edition. This format was quickly replaced with a sturdier, cloth cover version in the U.S. With many incredible and clever full-page color illustrations by Denslow, each signed with the seahorse and “DEN”. Some of the pages actually show famous Baum/Denslow characters as toys in Santa’s bag: Mother Goose and the Tin Woodman of Oz! Also includes the elaborate hand-lettered introduction by Denslow’s friend Grace Duffie Boylan, not included in the later printings.
The spine on this copy has been professionally restored by Sophia Bogle of Save Your Books. This fragile binding nearly always has spine damage, so Sophia created a beautiful new spine that faithfully reproduces the reindeer art on the wrap-around cover and Denslow’s seahorse totem. Interestingly, the Dillingham edition has a publisher’s mark on the spine that is lacking in the Heinemann version, correctly reproduced here. The book cover is otherwise in very good condition, with some light edge wear and a small chip on the back. Inside, there is light soiling to the pages and a 1906 gift inscription on front endpaper. The pages are complete and in generally good condition, with light toning and soiling throughout. Slight color loss to the rear endpaper that has a London printer’s imprint as well. Overall, a nice copy of a very rare edition of one of Denslow’s finest works. I can’t find any other copies online.