Home > BOOKS FOR SALE > All Books >

German movable book - Meggendorfer Lebende Thierbilder. Ein Ziehbilderbuch 1890 Movable

Antique Movable Book Meggendorfer Lebende Thierbilder

Alternative Views:

Lebende Thierbilder. Ein Ziehbilderbuch.

MEGGENDORFER, Lothar. 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!

Book description:

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 Watchdog)

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.

Der Fuhrmannsgaul (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.


Product Code: MEG-6