BAUM, L. FRANK. 1856-1919.
Father Goose: His Book. Chicago: Geo. M. Hill Co., .
4to. Color illustrations by W.W. Denslow. Original pictorial boards. Front hinge cracked, front free endpaper with lower corner torn, evidence of photo previously affixed to front pastedown, boards rubbed around extremities, corners bumped, head and tail of spine chipped and with small tape repair.
Provenance: Charles M. Wilkins (presentation inscription); gift to his daughter, Edna Browning Wilkins (Denslow-designed bookplate).
FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING, PRESENTATION COPY, SIGNED & INSCRIBED ON THE FRONT FREE ENDPAPER BY DENSLOW AND WITH AN ORIGINAL DRAWING of a little girl in a dress and fancy hat (apparently Edna Browning Wilkins). Laid in a fine autographed silver print photograph of Denslow at work at his drawing table, a copy of the above title (in jacket) visible beside him, signed with his seahorse monogram in bright red paint. The inscription in full: "To my friend Chas M. Wilkins with a happy thought to Miss Edna Browning who likes 'The big policeman' / from W.W. Denslow". Denslow also noted in ink on the copyright page: "one of the first edition of 5700 copies." Avid book collector Charles M. Wilkins was president of the National Electrical Trades Association in Chicago and president of the Wenonah Library Association in Wenonah, Ill. He commissioned his friend Denslow to draw not only his personal bookplate but ones for his wife Julia Rose and his daughter Edna Browning. The little girl evidently was delighted with her design's "big policeman." It was perhaps the most famous of all of Denslow's bookplates, being reproduced in The Inland Printer (June 1900, p 389) and Wilbur Macy Stone's Some Children's Book-Plates (1901). "This design is bubbling over with 'Den's' usual humor," noted Stone. "On the dead wall in the rear is posted 'Lost, strayed, or [stolen],' and at the foot of the design is 'Please take me home'; a quiet hit at book-borrowers. This plate quite fulfills the requisites of an ideal child's plate, which is praise enough." Denslow added an especially touching inscription with sketch to father and daughter in this copy of the best-selling American children's book of 1899.