Ali Baba 1899 1st Edn Book, W W Denslow Initials, Elbert Hubbard, Hand Illumined Anna McMillan, Ltd


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The first Roycrofter book about beloved handyman Ali Baba, by “Fra Elbertus” (Elbert Hubbard). This one was printed in 1899 and is graced with many hand-illumined initials designed by Wizard of Oz artist W W Denslow. #563 of a limited edition of 620, “signed” by Ali Baba and also one of the best Roycroft illuminators, Anna Paine. Anna has also painted a little Roycroft orb and cross on the limitation page. This book uses my favorite Denslow initial set (he did at least 4), the “heraldic” series graced by peacock feathers, shields, dogs, shells and more. All stunningly illumined in full color by McMillan. In my opinion is one of the very nicest Denslow-designed books. An additional Denslow connection on p. 35, where Hubbard includes the dubious story of Denslow naming Ali Baba after he stole Den’s tobacco. 1st edition and much nicer than the later Roycroft edition.

In a 3/4 suede binding, 150 pages on fine Roycroft Seahorse-orb watermarked paper. In very good condition, suede still intact, with some age toning and light corner wear. Interior is in very nice, with pages clean except for light age toning and old pencil price. Top edge of many leaves are uncut. Silk bookmark intact. Tight binding, tissue guard intact. A collectible copy that will be a cornerstone of your Denslow–Roycroft collection.