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Land of Oz

Turner Auctions & Appraisals visits ‘Land of Oz’ Sept. 26

Land of Oz
Title page of the first edition of ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by W.W. Denslow, George M. Hill 1899. Estimate $3,000-$5,000. Turner Auctions image

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO – Turner Auctions + Appraisals will present the Joel Harris Collection of Oziana & Children’s Books on Saturday, Sept. 26. The sale offers over 190 lots of first edition and vintage books, featuring a captivating and broad selection of Oz books. These include The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Land of Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, Glinda of Oz, Scarecrow of Oz, Tik-Tok of Oz and others. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

The Oz series was written by L. Frank Baum (1856-1919), a prolific American author best known for his children’s books – in particular The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its 13 sequels, plus 41 other novels, 83 short stories and more than 200 poems and 42 scripts.

Land of Oz
‘Mother Goose in Prose,’ by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by Maxfield Parrish, George M. Hill, 1901, second edition. Estimate $500-$800. Turner Auctions image

Oz collection highlights include The Wizard of Oz from 1939 signed by movie cast members; a first edition from 1899; and six editions of the same book that all vary from one another. This online auction also features other books by Baum, including Mother Goose in Prose, with illustrations by Maxfield Parrish; Queen Zixi Of Ix, The Master Key: An Electric Fairy Tale; The Navy Alphabet; The Sea Fairies; and The Songs of Father Goose.

Other children’s books in the sale include The Boy Fortune Hunters and The Flying Girl series, Sam Steele’s Adventures, and The Arabian Nights; plus a selection of “pop-up” books, including Pinocchio and Jack the Giant Killer and Other Tales.

Land of Oz
‘The House at Pooh Corner,’ in dust jacket, by A.A. Milne, illustrated by E.H. Shepard, Methuen, 1928 first UK edition. Estimate $2,500-$3,500. Turner Auctions image

Books by other acclaimed authors, collected by Harris’ late wife, Christine, include Jack London, A. Conan Doyle and Maurice Sendak. Among these highlights are noted A.A. Milne books: a fine first British edition of The House at Pooh Corner in the original dust jacket; The Christopher Robin Story Book; More “Very Young” Songs; and several editions of Now We Are Six.

Land of Oz
‘The Christopher Robin Story Book,’ by A.A. Milne, illustrated by E.H. Shepard, Dutton, 1929, stated first edition, 1st U.S. edition. Estimate $1,000 – $1,500. Turner Auctions image

There are also Jack London books, including one that is signed. Some were in the personal collection of London’s younger daughter Becky, who lived in Glen Ellen and became a friend of Christine’s. Rounding out the sale are several other lots: several presidential books, including Memoirs by Harry S. Truman, two volumes, one signed; and George Herbert Walker Bush: A Photographic Profile; a rare W.W. Denslow 1905 Sunny Jim Doll; and stickers autographed by Ray Bradbury.

Land of Oz
‘Memoirs,’ signed by author Harry S. Truman, two volumes, Doubleday 1956. Estimate $800-$1,200. Turner Auctions image

Born, raised and living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Joel Harris has been an estate attorney for 30 years. He has  had passion for collecting all things Oz since childhood – a pursuit that has lasted over 45 years.

Harris considers himself an “advanced collector,” noting that his hobby “is not at the normal level.” With Christine, he owned the Clayton Bookshop for many years, and has attended myriad book shows in the U.S. and abroad to enhance his collection.

Furthermore, as a member of the International Wizard of Oz Club for over 40 years, Harris has been its director of Special Publications for 20 years. As the program’s supervisor, he edited and published numerous special editions for the Oz Club – newer books that are limited editions of only 26 copies. These are designated for special purposes and members of the Oz Club, and are not available for outside purchase. Unlikely to have been offered previously at auction, some of these books are featured in the September sale, including The Wicked Witch of Oz and Toto of Oz.

Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its online auction on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 10:30 a.m. PDT.

For more information, contact Stephen Turner, president of Turner Auctions + Appraisals, at 415-964-5250 or

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Land of Oz