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Dean & Son - The Merry Old Dame cut out head 1864 - First title in Dean's Flexible Face series

Dean & Son antique movable surprise book

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Title The Merry Old Dame who Sings Fiddle de Dee

London : Dean & Son, Ludgate Hill, 1864

Quarto – 25 X 17 cm , 16 pages

8 hand colored illustrations, original boards with gutta percha head

Very scarce series. This title and it's companion book "The Jolly Old Man" were the first of Dean's Flexible Face series. It is very difficult to find in any condition.

Condition: See photos, Book is complete. Head is worn, pages complete but loose. Binding worn. Paper cut out story pages in very good shape except the last page which has fragile edges and a tear on first page.

Collector's Corner:

This book is From Dean's Flexible-faced story books series . Each book has 16 pages with 8 oil colored pictures and an elastic type face that changes moods to adapt to hand colored illustrations shown. The heads were made of gutta-percha. Note that originally the heads were malleable – hence the term flexible face. – They have hardened over the years.

Collect them all:

Flexible-faced Merry Old Dame, who sings fiddle-dee-dee - 1864
Flexible-faced Hearty Old Boy, who was always the same – 1864
Flexible-faced Jolly Old man – who sings down Derry down - 1865
Flexible-faced Little Girl or One Head as good as eight - 1867
The Flexible-faced "Lady John Hodge" - The Unchangeable Dame - 1867

Later – similar books came out called the “Funny Face Series”
There was a little Man and he had a little gun -- Funny Face Series - 1903 (designs by Japanese artist Yosbio Markino)
Old Mother Hubbard - Funny Face Series #2 - 1903

(Earliest reference that we can find for the Funny Face series is The Publishers' Circular and Booksellers' Record of British and Foreign Literature Volume 79 1903, page 544)

For reference only, here is an image of one of the books in the later two title series (Not included in sale)

Date reference for the Flexible face series from Google Books: The Publisher's Circular and General Record, 1866


Product Code: D-24