Back in the 1920’s it was common to walk into a toy shop and find Peter Pan themed board games, children’s handkerchiefs, card games, and, my favorite; watercolor and/or crayon sets and booklets. One of the most unusual (that is, after last week’s blog featuring Margaret W. Tarrant postcards) is this 1923 pack of black and white illustrations issued by the American Crayon Company.
The envelope features a color Alice Woodward scene from her book, The Story of Peter Pan , which is a retelling of the stage version of Peter Pan by Daniel O’Connor. The author, who received permission from J.M. Barrie to publish a synopsis-like approach to the play, saw this work published in one form or another from 1907 to the mid fifties. In addition to the book with Alice Woodward, O’Connor’s text was used in The Peter Pan Keepsake, a souvenir theatre programme (as it was published in England) which also featured photographs from the 1904-1906 London productions of the play as well as a portrait of the American Peter, Maude Adams. While O’Connor lacks the charm of Barrie’s own 1911 retelling of his play, the illustrations and/or photos are worth the price of owning his books. (In particular, the
1907 publication, with Woodwood’s colorful and whimsical tipped in plates, is printed on beautiful hand-made paper making me feel a bit chagrined that her work never accompanied the real thing–Barrie’s text.)
In addition to the Peter and Wendy Kroma Paket, I am including a card that a child would have colored. In fact, he/she already started on this page (and no, despite my desire to do so, this is not my work). Also shown here is an example to inspire (or intimidate) the potential