Sunday, May 31, 2015

Vintage Snow White Woven Rug

This Snow White rug dates from the 1960s and '70s. Made in Belgium. Measures approximately 45" x 57".

Side fringe.

Rug mages via aurorasjs.

As seen in Hake's Official Price Guide to Disney Collectibles, 2nd ed. (p.865).

In the 1964 pressbook issued to theatres in the United Kingdom, it's referred to as a "Play Pen Rug" available through Quetta Carpets--along with a another Disney character rug (to be seen in future post).

The same Snow White "nursery rug" was also seen in the 1972 UK Snow White pressbook.

Pressbook images courtesy of the Richard Holliss Collection.

Friday, May 29, 2015

1962 Snow White Table Cloth

A vintage Snow White table cloth, imprinted with "© Walt Disney Productions - 1962." Illustrated scenes tell the story from beginning to end. Fabric is a mid-weight cotton. Measures 70 X 56".

The detailed illustrated pattern wraps around all four sides, repeating half way through.

The table cloth came with six matching Seven Dwarfs napkins. (Dopey and Sleepy share one.)

Images courtesy of The Vintage Table.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"Snow White and the Green Flame Ruby" by Romano Scarpa (1953)

It was in 1953 that Italian artist Romano Scarpa drew his first Snow White comic--Biancaneve e Verde Fiamma (Snow White and the Green Flame Ruby). The text was written by Guido Martina. The 52 page story was published over three issues of Topolino, #78-79-80, November 10th, 25th, and December 10th. The following are some of the highlights.

In part one, the Queen uses her crystal ball to watch as the Prince drops Snow White off for a visit to the dwarfs' cottage

While the dwarfs are still out, the Queen shows up and..."PUFF!" She turns Snow into a miniature statue!


In part two, the dwarfs return home, but the Queen has actually disguised herself as Snow White. "PUFF!" They too are turned into statures, all except Dopey who manages to escape.

The plan is to wait for the Prince to return to take Snow back to the castle. Then the Queen will kill him in front of the princess in order to get her tears--which, in turn, will activate the Green Flame Ruby.


In part three, Dopey meets up with the Mexican parrot, Piperito Serapè, who is able to interpret Dopey's "language". Together with a host of forest animals, they head back to the cottage.

With the help of the bluebirds, they get the Queens magic wand and save the others.

Snow White and the Green Flame Ruby was republished January 2014 in Italy in the first of a series of books featuring Romano Scarpa's work, "Le grandi storie DisneyL'opera omnia di Romano Scarpa".

Special thanks to Nuziante Valoroso for his assistance with this post and for providing these image scans.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Overview of Romano Scarpa's Snow White Comics

Romano Scarpa (1927-2005) was an Italian comic book artist whose well-known Disney body of work extended over a span of 50 years. He delivered the pencil drawings (and quite often the text too) for volumes of Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge, and Mickey Mouse comics published in Italy. He also created numerous Snow White stories--some with Guido Martina, another well-known Italian comic book writer.

According to the worldwide Disney comic book database, COA I.N.D.U.C.K.S., Romano produced 11 stories in which Snow White and/or the Seven Dwarfs are the protagonists, plus two more tales where they appear as supporting characters. The first comic was Biancaneve e Verde Fiamma (Snow White and the Green Flame Ruby) which was printed in 1953. His last Snow White tale is from 1986--7 Nani e la fonte meravigliosa (The Seven Dwarfs and the Fountainhead).

All of the Italian editions were originally published by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore--and most in the Topolino (Mickey Mouse) comic book series. Some of the Biancaneve publications were only available in Italy, but numerous others have also been reprinted in different countries and in various languages (very few in English, though). The following is a brief look at his Snow White work.

1953: Biancaneve e Verde Fiamma (Snow White and the Green Flame Ruby)
  • Three-part story issued in Topolino #78 (10 November), #79 (25 November), and #80 (10 December); 52 total pages devoted to Snow White. 80 lire per book. Written by Guido Martina. Art by Romano Scarpa.

  • Synopsis: Because the Evil Queen (sometime referred to in these stories by her given name, Grimhilde) has not yet destroyed Snow White, the great Mother of the Witches is angry. She gives the Queen one last chance--to take the Green Flame ruby and activate it with the tears from Snow White. The Queen goes to the Seven Dwarfs cottage when Snow White is visiting and shrinks her and the dwarfs into miniature statues. The plan is to wait for the Prince to return to take Snow back to the castle. Then the Queen will kill him in front of the princess in order to get her tears. Dopey, however, avoids the spell--and with the help of the Mexican parrot Piperito Serapè, who interprets Dopey's "language"-- they are able to steal the Queen's magic wand and save the day.

The three front covers.

The title pages.

See more on this particular comic in the next post.


1954: Biancaneve, la strega e lo scudiero (Snow White, the Witch and the Huntsman)
  • Published in Albi d'oro #540-45 (7 November); 30 pages. 60 lire. Story by Guido Martina. Art by Romano Scarpa.

  • Synopsis: The Sweet Honey Fairy blames Snow White for being transformed into the Poisoned Witch, due to a fall in Snow's castle. So the witch imprisons both Snow White and the Prince and uses magic to steal the princess’ beauty. But in the end, the plan is foiled by the Seven Dwarfs. 

Cover and title page.


1957: I Sette Nani e il trono di diamanti (The Seven Dwarfs and the Throne of Diamonds)
  • Topolino #172 (10 October) and #173 (25 October); 45 total pages devoted to the Seven Dwarfs. 100 lira per issue. Story and art by Romano Scarpa. Inking by Luciano Gatto.

  • Synopsis: The Seven Dwarfs have prepared a throne embedded with diamond as a gift for Snow White’s birthday, but it is stolen by the Evil Queen. She lures the dwarfs and the Prince to the land of another witch named Tardona, making them believe that it is this other witch who has stolen the throne. Jiminy Cricket is the guest star of the story as the rescuer of Snow White. Grimhilde employs a magic orchid to make the princess become old and lose her beauty, but Jiminy grabs it away. In the end, Tardona takes revenge on the Queen and Snow White is saved.


Title page.


1959: I Sette Nani e la fata incatenata (The Seven Dwarfs and The Enchained Fairy)
  • Originally published in Almanacco Topolino #36 (1 December); 23 pages. 100 lira. Story by Guido Martina. Art by Romano Scarpa. Inking by Luciano Gatto.

  • Synopsis: This is one of the most original and disturbing comic stories in all the Snow White saga. Unfortunately we see the princess very little, only at the beginning and end. The damsel in distress, this time, is the Enchained Fairy named Fawn. She's imprisoned in a cavern because she used her body to protect Snow White from lightning created by the Evil Queen. To free the fairy, the Seven Dwarfs must face a series of obstacles. They are chased by Grimhilde who has transformed into a bat-like harpy. Everyone is saved by Dopey, but he must sacrifice his life to rescue Fawn. He then is saved by the Mother Love of Snow White.

Cover art and title page

Under the title, The Seven Keys of Danger, this comic was published in the United Kingdom (one of the very few Scarpa English-language editions); 1961, Walt Disney’s Weekly (7-installments).

The first Italian re-printing occurred in 1964, Alba Della Rosa #512 (30 August). 50 lira. Snow White cover art by Giuseppe Perego.

Cover image via

1987 cover, reprinted in honor of the 50th anniversary of the film. Includes an announcement for the TV program "La Notte di Biancaneve" (which aired July 17, 1987 on Rai TV). It featured the Dick Van Dyke special and an Italian part that broadcasted from the “Villa Pamphili” gardens in Rome--several important guests shared their Snow White experiences, including Romano Scarpa and Melina Martello (the speaking voice of the princess in the 1972 Italian dub).


1960: I 7 Nani e l'anello di betulla (The Seven Dwarfs and the Ring of Birch)
  • Topolino #238 (19 June). 37 pages. 80 lira. Story and drawings by Romano Scarpa. Inking by Rodolfo Cimino.

  • Synopsis: Scarpa often explored the past and the psychological dark side of his characters. This time, the Evil Queen tries to eliminate Snow White by controlling the will of Zenzero (Ginger)--an eighth dwarf who, years before, had left the others in search of his own fortune. Now he is returning to visit them. Grimhilde transforms herself into the fairy, Fagottina, and gives Zenzero a magic ring of birch with which he will be able to overcome any difficulty, but only three times. She convinces him to tell the Seven Dwarfs that he made his fortune (much bigger than they could ever have with their mine) using the ring. This triggers a thirst for power and greed in the dwarfs to the great dismay of Snow White and Dopey (who again is the wisest of the seven). The dwarfs want to tear apart their house, which is made of birch wood, in order to find other fairy rings. It is quite disturbing to see them devoured by the thirst for power. In the end, Zenzero makes everything right with his last wish with his ring. He chooses to turn back time and not to be seen by his former companions.

Front cover and title page.


1962: Biancaneve e la Pasqua nel bosco (Snow White and the Easter in the Wood)
  • Topolino #334 (22 April); 29 pages. 100 lire. Story by Osvaldo Pavese. Drawings by Romano Scarpa. Inking by Rodolfo Cimino.  

  • Synopsis:   A poisoned perfume is given to Snow White by the Queen in disguise. Friend Owl (from Bambi)--with an appearance by Thumper and Bambi himself--prepares the antidote for Snow White. A funny character, Magpie Bird, is totally inept during the preparation of the Easter celebrations but redeems herself in the finale by stealing the magic emerald that allows Grimhilde to control the poison antidote. Scarpa affords delightful contamination between the universes of Bambi and the dwarfs.

Front cover and title page.

1967 reprint cover.


1963: I Sette Nani e la balza del lupo (The Seven Dwarfs and the Wolf Cliff)
  • Topolino #412 (20 October); 20 pages. 120 lira. Story by Gian Giacomo Dalmasso. Drawings by Romano Scarpa. Inking by Giorgio Cavazzano.  

  • Synopsis: While going to the "garlands fair", Snow White is kidnapped by three of the Queen's minions--Sghembo, Bragia and Schidione. The evil plan is foiled by Snow's coachman and the Seven Dwarfs, but we see our princess tied and forced into a flowing torrent under the menacing Wolf Cliff. Snow White shows bravery, and once again, Dopey comes to the rescue by diving into the water to untie the princess, which allows her to swim to safety.

Front cover and title page.

1969 reprint cover.


1964: Biancaneve e l'abito stregato (Snow White and the Bewitched Dress)
  • Topolino #435 (29 March); 30 pages. 120 lira. Story by Osvaldo Pavese. Drawings by Romano Scarpa. Inking by Giorgio Cavazzano.  

  • Synopsis: Snow White is visiting the dwarfs for Easter. She performs in a play about her own fairytale for the young animals that don’t know it. Disguised as a gipsy, Grimhilde gets her raven to spoil the dress that Snow White is about to wear and so gives the princess a new dress. Unfortunately, the dress is magic and wisps Snow away, taking her in flight towards the Queen’s castle. Once again, Dopey will rescue the princess. A cute story, with beautiful drawings.

Front cover, title page, and sample page.

1972 reprint cover.


1967: I Sette Nani e il mago burlone (The Seven Dwarfs and the Joker Wizard)
  • Topolino #581 (15 January); 33 pages. 120 lira. Story by Pier Carpi. Drawings by Romano Scarpa. Inking by Giorgio Cavazzano.

  • Synopsis: A curious story in which Snow White only makes a small appearance. The Queen's crow is disguised as Snow's stepsister in a plan to replace a tiara--given to the princess by the dwarfs--with a new one that has the power to cause immediate sleeping death. Grimhilde then creates friction amongst the dwarfs by adding a "discord spell" to their gooseberry pie. The story is resolved when they seek help from the merry Joker Wizard, who transforms the Queen's castle into a sort of Eden, and replaces her crystal ball with an identical-looking soap bubble. 

Front cover and title page.


1967: Paperin Fracassa (Donald Fracasse)
  • Publish in Topolino #584 (5 February) and Topolino #585 (12 February); 60 total pages. 120 lire per issue. Story by Guido Martina. Drawings by Romano Scarpa. Inking by Giorgio Cavazzano.

  • Synopsis: The “Great Parodies” are some of the more popular series of the comic stories published in Topolino magazine. And one of the best stories is Donald Fracasse, a parody of the 1961 French adventure film, Captain Fracasse. Donald Duck is the Captain and Snow White is the damsel in distress. She is blinded by the Evil Queen and her eyes can only be healed if dampened with Catnip Dew. With the brilliant use of the Cheshire Cat from Alice and Honest John and Gideon from Pinocchio, Paperin Fracassa is probably the masterpiece in all of the Italian Snow White saga. The Seven Dwarfs and other Disney characters make appearances in the story.


Title page.


1969: Topolino allo Zecchino d'Oro--Fiaba (Mickey Mouse at the “Zecchino d’Oro”: Fairytale episode)
  • Special Topolino comic book (1 March); 8 pages. 300 lire. Story by Guido Martina. Drawings by Romano Scarpa. Inking by Giorgio Cavazzano.

  • Synopsis: Mickey Mouse and Goofy take a magical trip through the enchanted world of songs--in particular, those winning popular children's songs from over the previous ten years, “Lo zecchino d’oro”. They travel to places which recreate the stories of the songs. Snow White and the dwarfs are the stars of the “Fiaba” (Fairytale) episode. An orphan child is tempted by Honest John and Gideon from Pinocchio to desire bad things from the wishing well. In the end, his tears breaks a wicked spell of the Queen which has petrified Snow White and her friends in a deathly sleep.

Front cover and title page.


1986: I 7 Nani e il cristallo di Re Arbor (The 7 Dwarfs and King Arbor’s Crystal)
  • Topolino #1571[ (5 January); 33 pages. 1200 lire. Story and drawings by Romano Scarpa. Inking by Sandro Del Conte.

  • Synopsis: The story is a sequel to the Snow White film and picks up with the Old Witch tumbling off the cliff. She survives the fall and travels to King Arbor, one of her biggest admirers. While there, she conceives a plan to use a magic crystal device to switch her body with Snow White's. But first she tests it on Dopey and Bashful. The story is resolved when the rest of the dwarfs come to the rescue. It's interesting to note that Grimhilde remains always in her Witch form in this and the following story.

  • Editorial commentary from Snow White enthusiast Nunziante Valoroso: 'The drawing and characterization of the Witch and Snow White in these later Scarpa comics tend to be too caricature in style, losing some of the grace and charm of the his earlier 1950s and ‘60s drawings.'

Front cover and title page.

See more on this particular comic in an earlier post.


1986: 7 Nani e la fonte meravigliosa (The 7 Dwarfs and the Fountainhead)
  • Topolino #1622 (28 December); 44 pages. 1300 lire. Story and drawings by Romano Scarpa. Inking by Sandro Del Conte.

  • Synopsis: Grimhilde tries to reduce the dwarfs in misery, destroying their cottage and transforming their diamonds into sand. They do, however, find the fountainhead of youth. The Queen wants to use it, but like all the characters in the story--including Snow White--she will only become a child again for a short period of time.

Front cover and title page.


There were certainly more Snow White comics produced in Italy than just those drawn by Romano Scarpa, but his are some of the most beloved. In 2014, Scarpa's work started being re-published in a multiple-volume Italian series entitled, Le grandi storie Disney (Great Disney Stories). And just recently, it was announced that some of his comics are going to be reprinted in the US--for the first time ever! Maybe the Snow White tales will eventually find their way into the mix.

A super special thanks goes out to Nuziante Valoroso for his invaluable assistance with this post, providing the story synopses, many of the images, and tons additional information on these comics!