May 04, 2017 - Sale 2446

Sale 2446 - Lot 452

Price Realized: $ 4,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 700 - $ 1,000
OFFERING TERMS FOR ILLUSTRATING L. FRANK BAUM'S FIRST BOOK PARRISH, MAXFIELD. Illustrated Autograph Letter Signed, to publisher Chauncey L. Williams ("My dear Mr. Williams"), arguing against the suggestion of including small illustrations, explaining that his charges are no different for a large or a small drawing, proposing that he produce illustrations for cover, frontispiece, title-page and 23 story headings for $650, suggesting some changes to the text of two stories, and giving his travel plans. The illustration, small sketch in ink and graphite, ornamental heading for "Old King Cole" featuring a tiny crowned head. 3 1/2 pages, 4to, written on three sheets with first two pages on rectos only; remnants of prior mounting along upper edges recto and verso, folds. (MRS) Philadelphia, 29 July [1896-97]

Additional Details

". . . I am afraid I do not approve of marginal drawings as you suggest. I think in a book of this kind . . . . In some of those French publications of a lighter character they have a flip, breezy look which is very attractive, but in this kind of book I doubt if they would be quite as fit. . . . [D]o not think that a small thing is one bit easier to do than a big one. . . . [Old King Cole illustration] [W]hy not have a strong, vigorous, ornamental heading . . . and as far as possible characteristic of that story. . . . Those headings could be made very attractive I think . . . . There are 23 stories, and it would be impossible to do them for less than $25 apiece. . . . Now the only offer I can make is this: I could make the cover, frontispiece, title-page & 23 headings for $650. . . . [I]n my work there is no such thing as dashing a thing off. I like to bestow as much thought on an initial letter as you would on a painting. . . . I wish I were rich and could pay myself out on the book: that would be grand, but I would make some conditions: I would make the author take out the 'Kodak' from the 'Ba-ba-black Sheep' story, and hush up the dime-museum episode in the 'Jack Sprat' biography. . . . I think it is very doubtful if I can begin any 'Mother Goose' work before leaving as I have a lot of stuff to do for Scribners. . . ."
Mother Goose in Prose, 1897, was L. Frank Baum's first book, and the first book which Maxfield Parrish illustrated.