FERDINAND IN SOAP: A Kerk Guild Bath Product

New York: Kerk Guild, [1938]. First Edition. 16mo. A hollow book-shaped case holding a reproduction of Ferdinand the Bull, (yes) in soap. Stiff cardstock with pink printed cover and spine, imitating the font and design of the original book; all other sides decorated to resemble page edges. Case is worn and scuffed along edges, with some soil and small interior tears. Hollow in box is missing rear panel scenic insert; otherwise intact. Opens to reveal a single title page, underneath which is the titular bull. Ferdinand is unused and intact in every particular with the exception of his missing horns, which are in any case superfluous to a pacifist. Dye used to paint eyes and the spots on his back has faded somewhat, as has the advertised fragrance. Good overall. Good +. Item #22166

Manufactured to capitalize on the success of Munro Leaf's classic 1936 children's book "The Story of Ferdinand," which was adapted into an animated film in 1938 (and appearing here by "Special Permission of Walt Disney Enterprises"), this reproduction of Ferdinand the Bull was designed for soap sculpture by Lester Gaba, after Lawson's classic illustrations. An alternate and more commonly found Ferdinand soap exists, that one modeled after the Disney animation and produced around the same time; this item, however, is faithful to the original Leaf/Lawson book.

Gaba — designer of the famed Gaba Girls (life-size soap-carved mannequins) — was an innovator in visual marketing as well as a master of soap carving, who designed collectible reproductions of pop-cultural icons ranging from Popeye to the Dionne quintuplets. In soap. "Once upon a time there was a bull named Ferdinand, who loved to sit under a cork tree and smell the flowers. He loved flowers. / Everyone was disappointed in him. They expected him to fight in the bull ring, but Ferdinand was happier under his tree. / Here he is in soap, perfumed with his favorite flowers..." (title leaf). Not found in OCLC.

Price: $500.00

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