Catalog Archive
Auction 195, Lot 69

Whimsical Map Representing Popular Fairy Tales

"The Land of Make Believe",

Subject: Cartographic Miscellany, Fictional Map

Period: 1935 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

36.3 x 24.8 inches
92.2 x 63 cm
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This charming pictorial map by Jaro Hess shows dozens of nursery rhymes and fairy tales set within a magical landscape. Familiar characters such as Hansel & Gretel, Goldilocks, Cinderella, Little Bo Peep, Rip van Winkel, the Pied Piper, Peter Pan, Jack the Giant Killer, and the Cow that jumped over the moon fill the scene. Famous castles, such as Sleeping Beauty's castle, the Emerald City of Oz, Bluebeard's Castle, the City of Brass, and the castle atop Glass Mountain rise above the landscape. This popular "make believe" map was reproduced in the 1950s and again in 1982, however this is an early edition as evidenced by the "Wandering Jew" near the mermaids at bottom right, who was changed to "The Wanderer" in the 1950s edition. Published by the Child's Wonderland Co. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This example is accompanied by the original pictorial envelope in which the map was sold with the printed price of $1.00.

Jaro Hess (1889-1977) was born in Prague, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time, and immigrated to the United States as a young adult. Hess performed numerous different jobs, including working as a steelworker, chemist, and horticulturist, before settling in an artist community in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he became known for his drawings and paintings.


Condition: B+

A very bright example, issued folding with several short splits along the folds and minor wear along the folds. There are five 1/2" tears near Humpty Dumpty and one 1" tear by the Talking Bird that could be easily closed on verso with archival tape. The envelope is heavily chipped along the edges with several tears that just enter the printed image.

Estimate: $2,000 - $2,400

Sold for: $2,000

Closed on 11/15/2023