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Antiquarian's Museum – Very early Dean & Co. movable print - prelude to Dean & Son movable Books

Antiquarian's Museum – Very early Dean & Co. movable print - prelude to Dean & Son movable Books
Antiquarian's Museum – Very early Dean & Co. movable print - prelude to Dean & Son movable Books

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Antiquarian's museum – Very early Dean & Son movable print

Dean & Co, Threadneedle Street [n.d., c.1840’s.]

Hand-colored lithograph with movable (lift up) overlay that reveals a scene underneath

Marked Dean & Company, this dates this print to between 1838 and 1847

31 x 21.3 cm. (sheet) - 300 x. 220mm - (11¾ x 8¾)

Condition: Fine except that flap hinge is splitting about 1/3 way up from bottom so lift very gently

Before Dean produced their infamous movable books – there were the movable prints. Their production of movable prints (and loose prints in general) seems to have diminished entirely, by the 1860s. Quite fragile and scarce, we have identified only a few in collections worldwide.

This print is best described in a highly recommended book Royal Representations: Queen Victoria and British Culture, 1837-1876 By Margaret Homans, where she quotes “"The Antiquarian's Museum," shows, on the outside, a smiling old man about to peek around an interior door. This paper door opens to reveal the old man's shocked face looking at a scene of misrule: three of the royal children are cheerfully playing with the royal robes, crown, scepter, and other valuables, which they appear to have taken from a large trunk, in a setting resembling an antique store (a suit of armor and some stuffed birds are in the background.”

Collector's Corner:
Dean & Co., initially known as Dean & Munday until 1838, and later as Dean & Son from 1847, were prominent producers of vibrant lithographs for both adults and children. While there are numerous ads for their books, their movable prints were less frequently advertised. Between 1838 and 1847, as Dean & Co., they developed their movable print production, a craft further advanced by Dean & Son later in the 19th century for children's books. By the 1860s, their focus shifted more towards children's movable books, reducing their production of standalone movable prints. Unlike some competitors, Dean & Co. were both printers and publishers of their lithographs, leading in chromolithography during this period.

Other similar Novelty Prints by Dean & Co : ( At a recent auction, February 2023, for The Museum of Natural Curiosities offered by Potter & Potter Auctions went for $2,400.)

The Museum of Natural Curiosities. 12 ½ x 10”. The image depicts a man sitting on the back end of a horse-drawn cart, looking curiously inside. As the back panel is lowered, the back of the cart swings open to unveil two tigers and a lion who push against the door, resulting in the unsuspecting man tumbling to the ground.

The Royal Railroad Carriage two doors of the carriage open, revealing a scene of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, with some of their children and attendants

The Royal Oak (Tab moves to reveal six oval portraits of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, the Princess Royal, King Edward VII as Prince of Wales, Princess Alice and Prince Alfred.

To the Queen's Prìvate Apartment ( twin doors revealing the Queen & Albert)

A Peep at Windsor Terrace (forest scene with twin doors revealing children & dog)

Prince Albert Driving his favorites: Side of the carriage folds down to reveal his children riding within


Wood, Sileas. "Moving Pictures: Nineteenth-Century British Mechanical Prints." Print Quarterly, vol. 34, no. 2, June 2017, pp. 162-176. Print Quarterly Publications. https://www.jstor.org/stable/45137227.

Homans, Margaret. Royal Representations: Queen Victoria and British Culture, 1837-1876. University of Chicago Press, 1998.

Yale Center for British Art. https://britishart.yale.edu/.

British Museum. "The Torn Hat; a Young Boy with a Whip in His Right Hand, Looking to Front, Wearing a Large Hat with a Hole in It and a Blue Sash Over His White Shirt, After Sully." Accessed January 6, 2024. Available at: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P...

Royal Collection Trust. "The Royal Oak." Accessed January 6, 2024. Available at: https://www.rct.uk/collection/605965/the-royal-oa...

British Museum. "Biography of Dean & Son." Accessed January 6, 2024. Available at: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/term/BIO...

Dean & Co. "Prince Albert driving his favorites." Hand-colored lithograph, 1843 or after. 9 3/8 in. x 12 1/2 in. (239 mm x 316 mm) paper size. National Portrait Gallery, London. Purchased, 1903. NPG D20926. Available to view online at: https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw90264/Prince-Albert-driving-his-favorites

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All books are returnable within 14 days of receipt if not delighted for any reason


Product Code: D-1513