The Iconic Dust Jacket for ERB's first book
Fred J. Arting's iconic dust jacket.
This dust jacket illustration is iconic to anyone in the antequarian book world. Any copy of Tarzan of the Apes that comes with its
original dust jacket sells in the thousands of dollars. Sometime back a FINE condition copy in its original dust jacket sold for $45,000
dollars at one of the major auction houses. Up to that time, no novel by any author had ever sold for this much.
I sell a fairly good, workmanlike facsimile of this dust jacket, but computerized printers have a difficult time handling large swashes
of flat paint. So, my version will never be perfect. Mind you, it's okay, but for a near-perfect replica----I can't call anything this good a
facsimile----go to recoverings.com where Phil Normand has created one of the most beautiful examples of the printer's art seen on
any book jacket; but that it belongs on Burroughs' best-loved work makes it even better.
From 1927 until the1950s Grosset & Dunlap reprinted this title using a modified version of the original
illustration by Fred J. Arting from a night-time black silhouette Tarzan to a daytime full-color Tarzan. Many
Burroughs collectors believe the modification was done by G&D artist Paul Starr.
A. L. Burt used the same DJ design for all of their reprints. The first Burt version (above) was virtually
identical to the original McClurg. Different printers used different ink hues and shades, but the overall
design remained the same. For the most common version, the paper used was white with overall lighter
images and letters. Later versions included the gray paper version second below. Writing on erblist.com,
bibliographer Bob Zeuschner says "Still later, in a third A. L. Burt variant the colors became a bit bizarre,
with the moon over Tarzan's shoulder becoming a bright red color. It is not known why the colors changed,
but my guess is that a separate publishing house reprinted the jackets, and either the quality control on the
colors left something to be desired, or perhaps one of the printers decided to use his own creativity to