The Raggedy Story of Raggedy Ann and Cookie Land

Behold a copy of the original 1931 book, Raggedy Ann and Cookie Land.IMG_5136

Written by Johnny Gruelle, after the doll he designed in 1915 for his daughter, Marcella, this is one of the more prized vintage Raggedy Ann books. If, and this is a big IF, it had its original box and was in excellent (likely unmarked) condition, it might sell for $1000 or more.

IMG_5137

But this copy is likely far raggedier than the original rag doll whose face Gruelle artfully first decorated for his daughter. It is said that after Gruelle created the doll’s face, he decided to name her “Raggedy Ann” – a combination (or should we say unsolicited collaboration) between James Whitcomb Riley’s famed poem, “The Raggedy Man” and the popular cartoon, “Little Orphan Annie.” Copying (borrowing) is always the sincerest form of flattery – or in Gruelle’s case, genius.

My copy, found at a sale of antiquarian books, was marked $1 due to its condition – which, if I were being truthful, (as I am, always), would be considered South of “Poor.” First Edition aside, its hinge is weak,  a few pages are loose and/or tattered, and some  still bear the grimy fingerprints of the 1930s-era children who owned this.

IMG_5138

Nevertheless, as a fan of both Raggedy Ann and of cookies, I snapped up the book, as fast as you can say “Ginger“. It has value to me – not only sentimental value, but also as a very good reminder about future book scouting adventures. Paraphrasing the old saw about buying real estate, there are only three words that must be considered when purchasing an old book for value.

IMG_5142

And those three words are “Condition, condition, condition.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s