Munich: Braun & Schneider n.d. [ca. 1890].
Verse preface, with 8
pages of verse faced by 8 hand-colored articulated movable illustrations.
(This is a German
edition of the English Meggendorfer - All Alive, A movable toybook)
F° (300 x 230mm). 12 3/4 X 9"
Condition: Excellent condition with all parts intact, original, and in good working
order. The covers show minor general background dusty-color but the front cover
picture shows fine drawings and coloring in the illustrated animals and background.
There is barely any shelf wear and the original brown spine cloth is in very
good condition. Open the book to find
basically clean pages throughout with some small stain spots occasionally on
each text page resulting from rust stain at the metal coils.
One tab pull has been
replaced. The other tabs show some wear
and finger staining as expected. Any
stains or wear are shown in the photographs and/or indicated in the individual
page descriptions. In total, a wonderful
book of exceptional quality and condition despite more than 130 years of happy
use - a very desirable Meggendorfer work!
A pull tab movable
book containing 8 movables of animals/birds reflective of Meggendorfers caring
for all living creatures. The pulling mechanism adapts to the natural movements
of the respective animals. It is interesting to note that this carries over in
his skill in reproducing the essential action of animal movements in his work.
He clearly loved animals and observed them with a passionate eye. In enjoying and activating these wonderful actions it is
important to realize and consider that the tabs (pulling and pushing) are an
essential part of the movements. Maurice Sendak ("An Appreciation" in
the Publishing Archive of Lothar Meggendorfer, J.G.Schiller, 1975)
writes describing the movements activated by the tabs, "...its surreal enchantment
is lost when one merely tugs at the tab."
The movables include:
Der Kettenbund (The
Although chained to
his post the watchdog shows his power.
With one pull he rolls his eyes, growls open his mouth and lifts his
tail indicating clearly he is on duty.
Am Teiche (At the
Pond) Five ducks and a mother hen with three chicks enjoying a pond. With one gentle pull ducks dive, lift heads
or flap wings while the mother hen nods in a complex coordinated movement. The tab has been replaced.
(The Waggoner’s Nag) With a smooth pull
and sidewise movement of the tab (note the desired pull by the slit direction and
length) the horse bends the front leg knee and lifts his tail, while
tentatively lowering his neck and turning his head to reaching for fodder. Meanwhile two doves move flutter on the roof
of the nearby shed. There appears to be
a small slip of the neck as a number (5), apparently for the metal coil, is
visible but it does not appear to affect the total movement
Die Schafherde (A
Flock of Sheep) A large group of sheep rests in the meadow while two young rams
playfully buck heads.The large original tab has a corner chip but works
fine. Here a gentle pull and movement
toward the left results in head nodding of several sheep and a not too serious
head knocking of the rams.
Im Viehstall (In the
Cow Shed) Four horned bulls nod their heads while eating from a long trough.
Gute Freunde (Good
Friends) In another wonderfully choreographed movement four animals move
gently. Two rabbits eat while wiggling
an ear or nodding a head, a goat lowers his neck while turning his head to reach
food and a cat contentedly licks a paw while sitting in a window.
Der Hirsch (The Stag)
A handsome stag stands beside a large tree overlooking a wide meadow. With a pull the stag lowers (or with a tab
push raises) his majestic antlered
head, lifting high a leg knee and turning an ankle while the tail wags. At the same time a squirrel on a tree limb
bobs up and down. All parts work fine with only the large antlers having been
hardly noticeable reinforced.
Dder Uhu (The
Owl) While the final movement is one of
the least complicated in the book the scene is still very engaging due to the
strong visual presence of the bird. A large owl sitting on a branch in an even
larger tree brings the entire scene immediately forward almost as thought within
reach. With a pull/push the large eyed head moves down and up while the wings
flap in rhythm. A suitable, engaging goodbye
to a very special time with
Meggendorffer's marvelous moving menagerie.