Those who are ardent collectors of the famed Florence Upton creation - the Golliwogg - recognize this 19th century, first edition, children's book as an extraordinarily RARE find indeed, very seldom available for purchase in today's market!
"The Golliwogg's Bicycle Club", published in 1896 by Longmans, Green & Co, London & New York, was illustrated by Florence K. Upton, with story written by her mother, Bertha. This book was the 2nd Golliwogg adventure in a series of thirteen Golliwogg adventures by Upton, with the last published in 1909-- all of which are incredibly difficult to find today.
This hard cover book, measuring 8.75 inches high x 11.5 inches long, is a total of 63 pages in length. The book is lavishly illustrated with 30 full-color illustrations and tells the story of Golly's world travels. Golly and his friends, suffering from boredom, create their very own bicycles out of tree-wood and then partake of marvelous adventures in Paris, Japan, Turkey and Africa!
The Golliwog, itself, was based on a Black minstrel doll that Florence Kate Upton, born in 1873 of English parents, had played with as a small child in New York. Upton's Golliwog character was first introduced to the world in her 1895 book entitled The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls. Like the rag doll that inspired it, the Golliwog in her book was a less-than-handsome creature with very dark, jet black skin, large white-rimmed eyes, red clown lips, and wild, frizzy hair. Golliwogs are typically male and are generally dressed in a jacket, trousers, bow tie, and stand-up collar in a combination of red, white, blue, black, and occasionally yellow colors.
The book is in very fine but not perfect condition-- not surprising given the book's 114 years of age! Wear to hard-board-cover edges. Binding remains strong, but thread stitching securing pages to binding has weakened with the two, center-most pages separated from the others. Evidence of tape repair on these loosened pages present. Book is complete, with no missing pages.
Truly a fabulous find! The first time I have EVER had the pleasure of offering this wonderfully-rare children's book in my 26 years of dealing in Black Memorabilia!!