DODGSON, Charles Lutwidge ("Lewis Carroll"). The Wonderland Postage-Stamp Case. [Oxford: Emberlin and Son, March 1890].
Folded card, 16o size (97 x 78 mm). Stamp case with color printed images on covers and containing inside twelve small sewn pockets to hold stamps from 1/2d to 1s in value, original linen-backed pictorial sleeve, printed in color (minor wear).
FIRST EDITION. PRESENTATION COPY OF THE RARE FIRST ISSUE, with the space above the Cheshire Cat on the sleeve left blank and the space below reading "Price One Shilling." INSCRIBED BY DODGSON on the lower inside border: "T.B. Strong, from the Inventor, Ap/90." The recipient, Thomas Banks Strong (1861-1944), was a student, then teacher, and eventually the Dean at Christ Church, Oxford (1901-20). He later became Bishop successively of Ripon and Oxford. Cohen states that "his reminiscences of Dodgson are among the most valuable" (Letters I:538n).
The case and cover each bears two corresponding colored images of Alice on rectos and the Cheshire Cat on versos, "and are so arranged as to form two 'Surprises', for on pulling out the case, the cover picture of Alice holding the Duchess's baby turns into Alice holding the pig, and on the other side the Cheshire Cat, whole and entire, turns into the well-known residual smile of that quadruped" (Williams-Madan-Green-Crutch). The Wonderland Stamp-Case was later issued together with Wise Words in a pink printed envelope. The early issue seems to have been distributed by Carroll for presentation before the formal publication with the Envelope and Wise Words. Two presentation copies of this early issue are recorded with inscriptions both dated March 1890 (one to his sister Louisa F. Dodgson, see Parrish Catalogue, pp. 38 & 50). Madan, The Lewis Carroll Centenary in London 1932 535 (this copy); Williams-Madan-Green-Crutch 223.
[With:] Two autograph letters from T.B. Strong: 5 June 1921, signed "Thomas Ripon," presenting this copy as a gift to Miss E. Bartlett, the young daughter of a friend (2 pages, small 8vo); and 4 February 1932, signed "Thomas Oxon," giving permission to Miss Bartlett to loan the gift to the 1932 centenary exhibition (1 pages, 8vo).