Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Craig's Bookshelf: The Scarecrow of Oz

L. Frank Baum's The Scarecrow of Oz is the first Oz book that I read all by myself. It was a gift from my parents on my seventh birthday in 1974. I was in the second grade. (My mother believes it was The Patchwork Girl of Oz that I first read by myself, but that's not the way I remember it. While it's true that I had been reading since the first grade, I still enjoyed our shared ritual of her reading the Oz books to me at bedtime. The only problem was that sometimes she would read only one chapter per night. When she started reading Scarecrow, I was too impatient to stop at the end of a chapter, so I continued to read it by myself. I was off to the races!)
Inscription from my parents in 1974

The Scarecrow of Oz was my first introduction to two of my favorite characters, Trot and Cap'n Bill. The girl and old sailor were probably familiar to many of Baum's readers when Reilly & Britton published Scarecrow nearly 100 years ago on June 6, 1915. The two had many adventures together in Baum's "Borderlands of Oz" books, The Sea Fairies (1911) and Sky Island (1912). However, by the time I read Scarecrow in 1974, those books had gone out of print. (I bought those books a few years later when an Oz Club member advertised them for sale on The Oz Trading Post, which used to be a supplement to The Baum Bugle. Alas, the Post became obsolete in the age of the Internet and eBay.)
Trot and Cap'n Bill's adventures in Scarecrow begin when they are boating along the coast of California. They get sucked into a giant whirlpool and dragged underwater. Luckily, they are saved from drowning by some mermaid friends from the duo's adventures in The Sea Fairies:
"At first their fall was swift as an arrow, but presently they seemed to be going more moderately and Trot was almost sure that unseen arms were about her, supporting her and protecting her. She could see nothing, because the water filled her eyes and blurred her vision, but she clung fast to Cap'n Bill's sou'-wester, while other arms clung fast to her, and so they gradually sank down and down until a full stop was made, when they began to ascend again."
When Trot and Cap'n Bill come to their senses, they find themselves in an underwater cave and meet their first new friend, the Ork. As the story continues, they travel to the land of Mo and encounter the Bumpy Man and Button-Bright. While in Mo, they eat popcorn snow and drink lemonade rain. (Readers of The Magical Monarch of Mo will recall that land's edible and drinkable precipitation.) Along their way they meet the Scarecrow, and of course they eventually find themselves in Oz.
Left to right: 1st printing (1915), later printing with dust jacket (circa 1946), Popular Edition (1940), Roycraft edition (1959), white edition (1964)
Like so many of the Oz books, The Scarecrow of Oz was reissued multiple times in various formats before the book's publisher faded out of existence.

Color plate from the 1st printing
The earliest printings of Scarecrow were issued with twelve color plates. But only the first printing has an advertisement on the verso of the title page listing titles in the Oz series through The Scarecrow of Oz. That's the easiest way to identify a first printing by Reilly & Britton.

The second printing was issued two years later in 1917, and the verso of the half title page lists titles through The Lost Princess of Oz. When the third printing came out in 1918, the list of titles went through The Tin Woodman of Oz. Starting in 1919, the book was published by Reilly & Lee. Color plates were discontinued in 1934.
The first printing has an advertisement on the verso of the half title page listing titles in the Oz series through The Scarecrow of Oz

The 1940 "Popular Edition"
One of my favorite early variants of this title is the "Popular Edition" of 1940. This is a larger, thicker book with a new cover and dust jacket design by an unknown artist. This issue has only black and white illustrations (no color plates), and instead of being bound in cloth, it has paper-covered boards.

Library-style binding (mid-1940s)
In the mid-1940s Reilly & Lee came out with a sturdy library-style edition that was designed to better withstand heavy use and circulation. The front cover and spine were printed in black only.

Another interesting variant was issued in 1959. This book was bound in cloth, but there was no color label – or any art at all – on the front cover. Instead, it featured a new dust jacket design by "Roycraft." This was part of an effort by the publisher to modernize the look of the series.
1959 issue with Roycraft dust jacket
The last variant published by Reilly & Lee is the "white edition" of 1964. This book was issued with no dust jacket at all. The full-color art was printed directly on white cloth. The front cover was designed by Dick Martin, and the back cover is a simplified version of the color plate reproduced above, with the Scarecrow's head, grasshopper, and some foliage against a red background.
This is the white edition of 1964 that I received for my seventh birthday
For a detailed publishing history and bibliographic descriptions of early editions of The Scarecrow of Oz, see the revised and enlarged edition of Bibliographia Oziana, published by the International Wizard of Oz Club in 1988. Also see The Book Collector's Guide to L. Frank Baum and Oz by Paul Bienvenue (2009). The latter book was my primary source in writing this blog post.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Craig's Bookshelf: The Magical Monarch of Mo (Part Two)

From left to right: Bobbs Merrill 1st printing, Donohue 3rd printing, & Variant B of Donohue 2nd printing
The first printing of the first edition of The Magical Monarch of Mo is apparently one of those books that is genuinely rare. Fortunately for collectors, it's also virtually indistinguishable from the other four printings, which means that owning a second through fifth printing may be a perfectly satisfactory solution for all but the most obsessive-compulsive collectors.

1st printing - Serified type, Upper- and lower-case letters
According to Paul Bienvenue's Book Collector's Guide to L. Frank Baum and Oz, the key to distinguishing between the first five printings is to look at the typography of the printer's imprint, which is at the bottom of the copyright page. The publisher's imprint on the first printing is in serified type with upper- and lower-case letters.

2nd printing - Serified type, All-capital letters
The publisher's imprint on the second printing is in serified type with all capital letters. The publisher's imprint on the third through fifth printings is in three different configurations of san-serif type. I highly recommend Bienvenue's book to anyone who wishes to correctly identify their copy of this book since it reproduces all five imprints and tells you exactly what to look for. (See page 209.)

Color plate opposite page 6 of Mo.
I have not (yet) reached the point of obsessive compulsiveness where I feel the need to own all five printings of the first edition. I own copies of the first and second printings. I have the latter simply because for a long time I didn't know whether I ever would find a first printing. I would, however, like to acquire a fourth or fifth printing in order to add yet another variant to my collection. Instead of blue or green illustrated endpapers showing characters from Mo, these last two printings of the first edition have the orange and black endpapers designed by Fanny Y. Cory that were originally used as endpapers for The Enchanted Island of Yew. Interestingly, some early printings of Yew have the endpapers that were supposed to go with Mo. Both mix-ups can probably be explained by the fact that both books were first published around the same time in 1903; there probably was a supply of Yew endpapers on hand when Mo was being printed, and vice versa.

Starting in 1913, M.A. Donohue & Co. began printing low-priced editions of The Magical Monarch of Mo. The first Donohue printing is bound in light blue cloth and looks much like the first Bobbs-Merrill edition, however the title page imprint reads, "M.A. Donohue & Co."

The second Donohue printing has only eight color plates, and it comes in two variant bindings. Variant A uses the familiar light blue cloth, however Variant B is bound in green cloth. I am particularly pleased to own a copy of Variant B in the rare dust jacket.
Variant B of the Donohue 2nd printing, with & without dust jacket
Finally, there is a Donohue third printing; it is bound in the familiar light blue cloth, however the spine and front cover lettering is stamped in red. (This book is pictured at the top of this blog; it's the middle book in a row of three.)

In the early 1920s, Bobbs-Merrill reissued The Wizard of Oz and several other Baum books, including The Magical Monarch of Mo. These books are uniform with each other and feature new front cover color paper labels. The company reissued Mo again in 1947 in a completely new edition with illustrations by Evelyn Copelman. This is the only Baum book other than Wizard that Copelman illustrated. My copy of the Copelman Mo is in the original dust jacket. I recently acquired another Copelman Mo in a library binding.
From left to right: 1920s Bobbs Merrill, 1947 Copelman, Copelman library binding
Special thanks to Paul Bienvenue, author of The Book Collector's Guide to L. Frank Baum and Oz and proprietor of March Hare Books. Without his help I would be completely clueless when it comes to identifying L. Frank Baum's non-Oz books.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Craig's Bookshelf: The Magical Monarch of Mo (Part One)

In 1903 the Bobbs-Merrill Company began reissuing several of L. Frank Baum's children's fantasies. The New Wizard of Oz was the new title for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which was originally published in 1900 by the George M. Hill Company. Another title underwent a more radical change: A New Wonderland, published by R.H. Russell in 1900, became The Magical Monarch of Mo.

Although I've owned the book for years, I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I read Mo for the very first time less than a year ago. What a revelation! The whimsy and droll humor literally made me laugh out loud. It was a fresh and welcome reminder of Baum's genius for storytelling.

I recently took the opportunity to compare Mo and New Wonderland side by side. In addition to the title change, Baum made a few more alterations to the text. The most obvious change is that A New Wonderland takes place in the kingdom of "Phunnyland," whereas the latter book takes place in "Mo."
Many a Baum scholar has also noted that the name change was an obvious attempt to capitalize on the success of Wizard. Not only is Mo, like Oz, a monosyllabic word, but the structure of the title and alliteration of "Magical Monarch" clearly echoes "Wonderful Wizard."

The Magical Monarch of Mo is a shorter, thicker book than A New Wonderland, which surely was an effort to make it sit on the shelf uniform with Wizard. Bobbs-Merrill also changed the illustrations. For one thing it dropped the number of color plates from sixteen to twelve. Perhaps to compensate for the smaller number, the plates in Mo were printed in full color. One might argue that this was an improvement over the two-color versions in New Wonderland, although I happen to like the purple coloration of the original plates. Another change, which doubtless was an improvement, was the addition of numerous textual illustrations by Frank Ver Beck. Ver Beck's comical style perfectly complements the many absurd happenings in the story, such as when the Purple Dragon bites off the Magical Monarch's head. Imagine the scene - when the king returns home, the queen complains because she can't kiss her headless husband!

A New Wonderland is very hard to come by, but fortunately for collectors The Magical Monarch of Mo is easily acquired. What's more, it has its own unique publishing history, and there are multiple variants that can be fun to hunt for if one is so inclined. I'll take a closer look at some of these variants in the next installment of Craig's Bookshelf: The Magical Monarch of Mo (Part Two).

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Craig's Bookshelf: The Little Wizard Series

Some of the rarest of all the Oz books are the six titles published as the Little Wizard Series in 1913. L. Frank Baum's publisher Reilly & Britton aptly described these volumes as "Oz books in miniature." They measure just 7 by 5 1/2 inches and were released as part of a marketing push to promote the revival of Baum's most popular series.

Three years earlier the author had tried to end the series with The Emerald City of Oz, but his readers would have none of it. Unlike Baum's full-length Oz book, The Patchwork Girl of Oz, also published in 1913, each of the Little Wizard Series books was just 29 pages long. The books also were intended for a younger audience than the regular Oz books.

The titles are:

The Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger
Little Dorothy and Toto
Tiktok and the Nome King
Ozma and the Little Wizard
Jack Pumpkinhead and the Sawhorse
The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman

Part of the reason these books are so scarce is that there was only one printing. (They were later reissued by Reilly & Lee as the "Little Oz Books with Jig-Saw Puzzles" in 1932, and then again as Jell-O booklets circa 1933. They are most commonly found as part of the Rand McNally Company's "Wonderland of Oz" series of 1939.)

One of the more unusual features of these books is that the text is printed in blue. Each volume has numerous color illustrations, including a two-page spread at the center of the book. I love Neill's artwork, which is why I am posting a couple of images of the two-page spreads for your eyes to feast on. (But keep reading, as there's more text below the illustrations.)

Another reason the original printings are scarce is that they are extremely fragile. The books are bound in paper-covered boards, which are not nearly as sturdy as the cloth bindings of the regular Oz books. Also, the text sheets are bound into the boards with staples. Combine these features with several generations of rough handling by small children and you can see why it's hard to find these books in decent condition a century after their publication. They are almost always missing chips of paper along the spines, and the text blocks are often detached.

Even though my own copies are in considerably better-than-average condition, at first I was literally afraid to handle them. It was just too easy for pieces of the brittle paper covering the spines to break off. That's why I sent the books to Sophia Bogle's Save Your Books for restoration. Here's what she did.

First, she stabilized the spines by covering them with extremely thin, color-matched rice tissue paper.

Second, she made polyester film covers for each of the books.

Third, she constructed a slipcase with two inset panels featuring art from two of book covers and a spine label designed by Marcus Mébès. There's also a ribbon pull, which makes it safer and easier to remove the books from the slipcase.

Needless to say, all the materials are archival quality and acid free. And the repairs to the books - using rice tissue and rice paste adhesive - can be reversed without doing any damage.

To the right is an image of the spine label. I'm really happy with the work that Marcus did. The spine is a kind of modified cover of The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, but with the name of the Little Wizard Series instead of the title of that particular book. Below the series title is a cropped version of that book's cover art showing the Scarecrow and Nick Chopper clasping hands. Then there's a list of the titles of all six books. The names of the author and publisher and the date of publication are all designed to emulate the look and feel of the books. The design elements are superimposed over an orangey-peach background that matches the cover of that title. Of course, the Little Wizard Series books were never actually issued with a slipcase (as far as anyone knows). Even so, I like to imagine that mine is a good approximation of what it could have looked like if there had been one.

I feel much better knowing that my precious little books are safely housed in this sturdy, beautiful slipcase that Sophia custom built for me!

Monday, December 01, 2014

The Royal Podcast of Oz: Duo December

Two new episodes of the podcast have finally been published!

Christmas 2014: Our Landlady

In this selection from L. Frank Baum's Our Landlady, Jared reads "She Fills the Colonel's Stocking and Talks of the Charity Ball" in which Mrs. Bilkins unveils a surprise for the Colonel.

The Movies of Oz: Cinar’s Oz Part 2

Jared and Sam continue their discussion of the Panmedia/Cinar Wonderful Wizard of Oz series, continuing with their Marvelous Land of Oz story arc.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Craig's Bookshelf: The MGM movie editions of The Wizard of Oz

Some may call this heresy, but I'm not too fond of MGM's The Wizard of Oz. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the fact that it's a great historic film. And I still get chills whenever I hear Judy Garland sing, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I also think that Margaret Hamilton's performance as the Wicked Witch of the West was brilliant. (And by the way, I met her in person - she sat next to me all day at a Munchkin Convention in the early 1980s - and she was a lovely, lovely lady.) But the fact is that my true love is and always has been the book by L. Frank Baum.

Surely you know what it's like to be disappointed by the movie version of a favorite book. I received the white edition of The Wizard of Oz on my fourth birthday in 1971. My mother read it to me, as well as the first few sequels, several years before I ever saw the movie on television. By that time the original tale and the illustrations by W.W. Denslow and John R. Neill were firmly entrenched in my mind. The movie simply didn't match the way I visualized Oz in my imagination. And as a child I was actually insulted that in the movie Dorothy's adventure was just a dream. After all, her visits to Oz in the books were most decidedly real, and for many years I used to hope against hope that maybe, just maybe, Oz was really real, and maybe, just maybe, I would get to go there some day and meet Dorothy and Ozma and everyone else.

But I digress.

Probably the thing I love the most about the movie is that it forever cemented The Wizard of Oz in popular culture. Thanks to Judy Garland, Bert Lahr, Ray Bolger, Margaret Hamilton, Billie Burke, Frank Morgan, all the little people, and the rest of the folks at MGM, no one will ever, EVER forget America's greatest fairy tale.

And so for those of you whose first love is the movie, I hope you especially enjoy the pictures I'm sharing today of my four MGM editions of The Wizard of Oz. As usual, I collect copies with dust jackets whenever possible.

The dust jackets of the American edition by Bobbs-Merrill are nearly identical. The first printing was issued in 1939, and the second printing came out circa 1942. The second printing is actually much scarcer than the first printing, but the first printing is still more valuable because, well because it's the first printing. As far as I know, the only difference between the dust jackets is that the price listed on the front flap was raised from $1.19 to $1.50.

The difference between the books themselves is much more obvious. The first printing has black bands on the spine; the second printing does not.

Also the endpapers of the first printing show sepia tone stills from the movie, whereas the endpapers of the second printing are blank.

The two British editions were printed by Hutchinson circa 1940. Unlike the American edition, these are not two different printings. Instead they are two different binding variants of the same (and only) printing. The Hutchinson bindings look very different.

Binding A has paper-covered boards, and the boards and jacket have identical art.

Binding B has cloth-covered boards, and the jacket art is different. In fact, Binding B is rather drab without the jacket.

The British editions seem to be considerably scarcer than their American counterparts, and they are especially hard to find in dust jackets. The British editions are also much harder to find in collectible condition. The paper-covered boards of Binding A are fragile, and both bindings have typically suffered from the damp climate in Great Britain. You can see the effects of climate especially well in the picture above of the Hutchinson Binding B. The spine shows discoloration, and the front board is slightly warped. One would usually expect to find a book that has been protected by its dust jacket to be in nearly pristine condition, but as you can see that wasn't the case with my Binding B. I would like to upgrade to a nicer copy of Binding B, but truth be told, this book is scarce in any condition. And the dust jacket is very rare. I'm sure there are other copies out there, but my dust jacket is the only one I've ever seen.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Craig's Bookshelf: The Emerald City of Oz

The publication of L. Frank Baum’s sixth Oz book, The Emerald City of Oz, in 1910 was a blockbuster event. For one thing, Baum had decided to end the series, and this was to be its dramatic dénouement.

Baum weaves a plot in which the villainous Nome King schemes to conquer Oz with the help of a succession of horrible, evil races of creatures - the Whimsies, Growleywogs, and Phantasms.

Meanwhile, Princess Ozma has decided that Dorothy, Aunt Em, and Uncle Henry may live happily ever after in the immortal fairyland. They begin their new life by touring the countryside, visiting strange settlements and meeting queer denizens along the way.

After the Fountain of Oblivion prevents Oz’s obliteration, Ozma decides that this was too close a call. From now on, Oz will be shut off forever from outside visitors through the protection of a Spell of Invisibility. Imagine the shock of Baum’s little readers upon learning that this would be farewell.

Of course modern readers know full well that the children demanded more of their favorite fairyland, and Baum eventually obliged by writing eight more Oz books.

Because it was supposed to be the end of the series, Baum’s publisher, Reilly & Britton, decided to make Emerald City its most elaborate effort. The first printing reproduced 16 full-color paintings by John R. Neill as color plates, each one embellished with metallic green ink.

Telling apart the different printings of this book is fairly easy.

Only the first printing shows the Wizard, Dorothy, Aunt Em, and Uncle Henry riding a carriage drawn by the Sawhorse through the Emerald City, with Ozma, the Scarecrow, and Tin Woodman looking on.

The second printing has a different cover showing Ozma flanked on either side by vase-like devices with the tops of the torsos and heads of the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow popping out. Several successive printings use this same cover design. These later printings can usually be distinguished by noting the list of titles on the verso of the ownership page.

Starting in 1929, the publisher - now known as Reilly & Lee - introduced a third cover depicting Ozma riding the Sawhorse. This is sometimes known as the "Sexy Ozma" cover, and it was used until shortly before the publisher issued its final "white edition" in 1964. (For a brief period between 1959 and 1963, the book was published with a blank cloth cover.)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Craig's Bookshelf: John Dough and the Cherub

Nov. 21 Correction: About that contest blank...

Thanks to Paul Bienvenue for pointing out that the contest blank can also be found in copies of the second printing in Binding A of John Dough and the Cherub. This means that the only 100 percent reliable way to distinguish between a first and second printing is to check for the cage/cave misprint on page 275.

In an email, Paul went on to write:
I suspect that, like Santa Claus, the two "printings" were probably issued simultaneously. There is even a chance that they represent a state change, as with Patchwork Girl, due to a stop-press correction of the cage-for-cave error, which would make them different states of the first printing rather than two separate printings. However, that would make all subsequent R&B issues also "first printings," which is problematic in its own way. The first printing / second printing divide seems the best solution to an ambiguous situation.
The moral of the story is that Oz-Baum bibliography is complicated and entails a certain amount of detective work!

Original blog:

One of my favorite parts of collecting Oz and Baum books is learning how to tell the difference between various printings that look nearly identical to the casual observer. For example, there are only two differences between the first and second printings of L. Frank Baum's children's fantasy of 1906, John Dough and the Cherub.

First, the first printing has a detachable contest blank for “The Great John Dough Mystery” tipped on to the inner margin of page 9. The second printing does not.

Second, the first
printing has a
misprint on page
275 in which the
word “cave" is
printed as “cage.”

        The typo is
        corrected on
        page 275 of
        the second

Another difference between my first and 
second printings is that the first printing is bound in Binding A, whereas the second printing is bound in Binding B.

In Binding A, the publisher’s spine imprint reads “The Reilly & Britton Co.” in large and small capital letters. In Binding B, the imprint is shortened to "Reilly & Britton," and the type is in upper- and lowercase letters. Note that you cannot use this point alone to differentiate between the first and second printings because some second printings were bound in Binding A! To further confuse things, the second printing is found in five different binding states.

Reilly & Lee did something unusual when it reprinted John Dough in 1920; it retained all 12 color plates, but it printed text on the versos of the plates! This is the only Baum or Oz book that I know of with text on the opposite sides of the plates. Needless to say, it's much more serious if your copy of this book is missing a plate because that means it's also missing part of the story.

Reilly and Lee reprinted the book again in 1927, but this time it dropped all the plates except for the color insert facing the title page. The other plates were rendered as full-page black and white illustrations.

At least three other publishers released editions of John Dough and the Cherub. In 1966 March Laumer's Opium Books of Hong Kong issued about 500 copies of a paperback edition with quirky new illustrations by Lau Shiu Fan.

Dover Publications' 1974 edition was also paperback, but it retained John R. Neill's original illustrations.

In 2008 Hungry Tiger Press printed a beautiful hardcover edition, which also included the original illustrations. Twenty-five copies were released as a "deluxe limited edition" that came with a slipcase and place marker ribbon.

As a final note I should add that I didn't figure out how to differentiate between all these books by myself. I rely heavily on The Book Collector's Guide to L. Frank Baum and Oz by Paul Bienvenue. I consider this book indispensable for anyone who is serious about collecting vintage copies of the Oz and Baum books.

Introducing Craig! And why there aren't a lot of blogs now...

Well, a couple days ago, you guys saw something new on the blog. After seeing some of his neat posts about his large collection of Oz and Baum books on Facebook, I invited editor of The Baum Bugle Craig Noble to post them on the blog.

You may have noticed that I haven't been writing here much lately. To be honest, I try to think of something to blog about and come up with nothing. When I come up with a good topic (which is not often, sadly), it winds up going to another place for publication, such as The Baum Bugle or the Winkie Convention Program Books. I've been writing on the blog for nearly nine years now.

Also, I made the move from being a blogger to also writing Oz fiction and now have to devote a lot of creative energy to that as well. Add in my day to day personal life, and it can get to be a little much to keep up regular blogs.

Another thing is that I recently finished writing the first draft of a new version of The Wonders of Oz documentary. Rather than doing about a dozen episodes of shorts, I wrote a single documentary that can be broken into three parts. I'm hoping to create a much better documentary than what is currently on YouTube and look forward to moving onward to the next step of making it happen.

I hope to get everything straightened out sometime and hope I can get it all into a nice balance, including the blog, but right now, if I'm not able to turn out entries quite as frequently as in the past, please bear with me!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Craig's Bookshelf: The Christmas Stocking Books

Several weeks ago I started posting photos of books from my Oz and Baum collection to the Wizard Of Oz Collectors United! page on Facebook. Jared invited me to cross-post them on the Royal Blog of Oz, so here we go.

Today I’m sharing photos of an item that I had sent to Sophia Bogle of Save Your Books for restoration work. If you’re a member of the International Wizard of Oz Club, then you may remember reading a couple of articles she wrote about book repairs in recent issues of the Baum Bugle.

The item is a "steamer trunk" containing a set of six Christmas Stocking Books, each with an introduction about the origin of the custom of the Christmas stocking written by L. Frank Baum. These tiny little books were first published by Reilly & Britton – the publisher of the Oz books – in 1905. A later printing of the books was issued with the cardboard steamer trunk around 1913.

I bought my trunk and books from Wonderful Books of Oz, which is run by Cindy Ragni. The very fact that the books were still housed in the original trunk means that they were relatively undamaged, although they’re still fragile little books. Unfortunately, the trunk itself was missing the lid.

Now here’s what’s cool. I remembered seeing Bill Campbell's photos of his original trunk and books on his Oz Enthusiast blog. His trunk wasn’t missing the lid. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind sending me a high-resolution scan of the lid (which was intact, but detached), so that Sophia could use it to make a facsimile lid. Lo and behold: not only did Sophia do a beautiful job with the facsimile lid, but she also did some restoration work on the individual books, and she made new glassine wrappers for each book, since that’s the way the set was originally issued.