Sold: Original Hand-Drawn Wizard of Oz Map Collection and Book Journeys Land of Oz


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Here is a set of 32 very interesting maps based on Wizard of Oz books, at first a bit of a mystery as I’d never seen any of them before in this form. After some head scratching, I realized that one was “drawn by Relge E Knarf”, a simple code for Frank E Egler. The others are unsigned but appear to be done by the same hand. The collection includes two different maps of the Marvelous Land of Oz based on the 1914 Tik-tok map and/or the 1932 Wonderland of Oz map, as well as two different The Continent of Imagination maps (Land of Oz and Surrounding Countries, one in color). In addition, there are separate hand-drawn maps based on the first 21 Oz books by both Baum and Thompson; these with the journeys the characters took included in red or dashed lines. Some have two different style maps for each book: Wizard (2), Land (2), Ozma (2), Dorothy (2), Road (2), Emerald City (2), Patchwork (2), Tik-tok, Scarecrow, Rinkitink, Lost Princess, Tin Woodman, Magic, Glinda, Royal Book, Kabumpo, Cowardly Lion, Lost King, Hungry Tiger, Gnome King, and Giant Horse. There is a lot of detail in most of the maps, best viewed close up and clearly drawn by someone very familiar with the classic Oz series. The maps are drawn on the backs of various types of paper, some reusing old letterhead, with a major tell that we have the right artist being one for Elger Bakery in New York. The largest map is about 17×22″ unfolded, but is made of 4 smaller letterhead sheets taped together on the back. Most are about 8.5″ x 14″. In various conditions with some wear and tear and toning as shown. In addition, there is a stack of 24 small slips of paper with brief story ideas (apparently), the first three having to do with Oz. So Elger was not only a budding cartographer, but also hoped to write children’s fiction.

Frank Edwin Egler (1911-1996) was a New York botanist, a Guggenheim Fellow, an occasional professor and staunch conservationist who worked with Rachel Carson on her ground-breaking anti-pesticide book, Silent Spring. It’s unknown when the maps were drawn, but some of the handwriting appears juvenile enough that it’s possible they pre-date the well-known Oz Club maps of the 1960s and beyond. Will be shipped folded as found. From his 2016 biography summary: “Frank Egler was brilliant, noble, and charming. He was also arrogant, eccentric, reclusive, and outrageous.” Sounds a bit like an Oz character to me!