Babes in the Wood


My dear do you know,
How a long time ago,
Two poor little children,
Whose names I don't know,
Were stolen away
On a fine summer's day,
And left in a wood,
As I've heard people say,
Poor Babes in the Wood! Poor Babes in the Wood!
Oh! don't you remember the Babes in the Wood?

And when it was night,
So sad was their plight,
The sun it went down,
And the moon gave no light!
They sobbed and they sighed,
And they bitterly cried,
And the poor little things,
They lay down and died.
Poor Babes in the Wood! Poor Babes in the Wood!
Oh! don't you remember the Babes in the Wood?

And when they were dead,
The robins so red,
Brought strawberry leaves,
And over them spread;
And all the day long,
The branches among,
They mournfully whistled,
And this was their song;
Poor Babes in the Wood! Poor Babes in the Wood!
Oh! don't you remember the Babes in the Wood?

"Babes in the Wood" tells the haunting story of two little children who were stolen and left in a wood, where they died. The robins covered them with leaves and sang about the poor babes in the wood. It is one of the saddest poems in all of Mother Goose's oeuvre but beautifully told. There are some indications that it was based on a true event.

The R. John Wright "Babes in the Wood" is inspired by an illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith (1863-1935) in A Child's Book of Stories first published in 1926. One of America's premier illustrators, Jessie Willcox Smith's work epitomized the magic of childhood. Her lovely illustrations have formed the basis for several R. John Wright editions.

Babes in the Wood stand approximately 17" tall, and are fully jointed and constructed of the finest all wool felt with molded faces, hand painted features, mohair wigs, and sculptural felt hands with individual fingers. An innovative detail on the little boy shows one hand uniquely crafted as a closed fist. Both children feature tiny delicately applied teardrops.

The little Lord is costumed in a tailored linen blouse topped by a felt tunic gathered at the waist with a leather belt with a brass buckle. Cotton tights, a jaunty felt cap, and hand cobbled leather shoes tied with silk bows complete his charming fairy tale outfit.

The little Lady wears a beautifully detailed dress of hand-painted cotton gauze and felt. The waist is embellished with a band of handknotted silk buds and bows. Her dainty felt cap, custom-made white stockings, and hand cobbled red ochre-colored leather slippers tied with silk bows provide the perfect finishing touches.

Babes in the Wood was made in an extremely small edition of just 100 sets worldwide. They came together in a deluxe custom-made RJW presentation box. Included was the accompanying signed and numbered certificate of authenticity and the forms for owner registration.

DIRECT PURCHASE: Babes in the Wood sold out when released in 2007. The set offered here is number four of only five Artist Proofs made and comes directly from R. John Wright in pristine as-new condition. Note: this is the only remaining set in the RJW Archives. The purchase price of $5,100.00 includes shipping & insurance in the domestic United States. [For overseas shipping rates, please contact the RJW office.]

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