Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Cowardly Lion's Jewel Box

At the matinee performance of The Wizard of Oz on April 15, 1903, the producers of the show presented the audience with souvenirs to commemorate the show's one hundredth Broadway performance.

Newspaper ads would mention the forthcoming souvenir anniversaries a week or more before, driving a demand for tickets to such special occasions. The producers began running advertisements for the 100th performance, and its souvenirs, more than two weeks in advance.

Ad announcing souvenir matinee in New-York Tribune, March 29, 1903.

This anniversary garnered one of the most elaborate of the Wizard of Oz souvenirs— a charming little jewel box featuring the Cowardly Lion standing on the hinged lid. The Cowardly Lion was one of the biggest attractions in the show and a favorite especially of the children in the audience.

Souvenir 100th Performance Cowardly Lion Jewel box, April 15, 1903.

The sumptuous little box reflects the quality and effort put into some of the theatrical souvenirs. Made of a gilded metal, the box measures 3-3/8" x 2-3/8" and is 2-1/2" tall to the top of the lion's head. The box and hinged lid are each lined with padded pink satin.

Interior of the Cowardly Lion souvenir jewel box.

The bottom of the jewel box reads: "MAJESTIC THEATRE, 100th Performance, WIZARD OF OZ, JB 827, Wednesday April 15, 1903."

Bottom of the Cowardly Lion souvenir jewel box.

These "souvenir" performances sometimes made national news as seen in the clipping below from the Sioux City [Iowa] Journal.

Sioux City Journal announcement from April 19, 1903.
We'll be discussing other souvenirs from The Wizard of Oz in coming posts—and maybe a few from other shows.

Advertisement from the New-York Tribune April 5, 1903.

Copyright © 2020 David Maxine. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. I have a copy of the illustrated 100th-performance souvenir booklet for Sullivan’s “Ivanhoe”.