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Meggendorfer - Artistic Pussy and her studio : moving pictures, with other tales : a moveable toybook - French Version - 1890

Antique Movable Book Meggendorfer  Artistic Pussy

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Histoires Pour Rire - Lothar Meggendorfer

(This is the French version of the English Meggendorfer entitled "Artistic Pussy and her Studio. Moving Pictures with other tales. A Moveable Toybook from Lothar Meggendorfer")

By: Adeline Reynaud

Designed by: L. Meggendorfer

Publisher: A. Capendu, Editeur, Paris

1889 (?) 14 pages

Folio (9 3/4 x 14 1/4”) ,(302 X 222 mm.)

This very interesting French language book is a pull-tab mechanical book consisting of six movables in which animals are the characters.

Condition: Complete, all original, and working. The movables are bright, clean and very colorful. They show wear and some staining on lower edges due mostly to use of the pull-tabs. All pull-tabs have the usually finger smudges but are original and in excellent condition. There has been some repair due to the common tearing around the area. There are very few repairs in the book, except as noted. Any specific repairs, if any, to a movable or text are included in the individual descriptions.

There are eight movables with a story text each of which includes sepia drawings.

The movables include:

1. Un Vaniteux (A Vain {person})

A Bulldog (obviously the one on the front cover) rares back in a fancy chair, smoking a cigar as a cat with pallet in hand is painting his portrait. Monsieur Bouledogue (obviously a very rich and vain character) had sent a message requesting a portrait by Monsieur Raminagrobis, a cat who is a well-known artist. His dog, Azor, is pictured on the left page. In the moveable, obviously pleased with himself, Mr. Bouledogue fully expects the glowing compliments the cat showers on him. However, the cat's thoughts are that Mr. Bouledogue has ears large as cabbage leaves, a nose and a mouth comparable to a hippoptame. But as he paints the cat says"...your mouth is fine, delicates your ears and your legs have a rare elegance." The Bulldog's reply, "Whatever you say does not surprise me."

However, one pull of the tab shows the cat opening his mouth and rolling his eyes - an obvious depiction of his real opinion.

Unaware of the cat's expression, the Bulldog lies back nodding his head in a very satisfied fashion.

There is a small section of paper pasted across the bottom of the page, slight staining and a tear mended. Note: All

photographs depict any repairs throughout the book.

2. Falce de Singe (A Fake Monkey)

A drawing on the text page depicts two women - and elderly woman and her adult daughter (Mme Dugrantoeiol) appearing rather shocked at what they see and hear. What they see in the colorful, clean movable is a monkey sitting in a big chair holding baby in its lap. The baby is crying very loud. The pet monkey apparently is trying to play with the baby. A pull of the tab moves the arms, one holding a doll and the other waving a rattle. He is calling out for mommy to help. But his real pleasure is his drinking greedily from the baby's milk bottle. But the story ends with Mme Dugrantoeil rushing into the room, taking the baby and giving the monkey a whip. The page has only the usual bottom edge small tears around the pull and finger smudges.

3. Un Vaniteus suite (The vain continued).

Raminagarobis is shown alone now painting a picture of his faithful servant Azor, much more interesting for him than that of the Bulldog. Under the picture his words are "Say that my client believed in vain compliments that I sent him. Now I quickly resume the portrait of Azor." A pull moves both arms - one holding a colorful pallet and the other moving a paintbrush. There is a small fold mark on the shoulder and a not noticeable regluing of the brush. Also a light small stain and a tear on the bottom of the page and a strip of clean paper glued to left side.

4. Les Deux Chasseurs (The Two Hunters)

The Hunter (Le Chasseur) speaks in the first half of the text in which he says he will be more cunning than the cunning fox (Le Renard). He is going to his lookout, behind the tree to watch for the wicked fox, which he will shoot. He is pictured on the left behind a tree, wearing a feathered hat and peering out while holding a gun.

The Fox (Le Renard) is pictured in the movable holding two geese he has caught. He says that he had heard the hunter prowling around the farm and perceives the feather in his hat behind the big tree out there watching him. He says, "This is a strong animal cunning hunter, but I'm smarter than him." Then the fox leaves in a different direction. The moveable depicts the fox running across a meadow with two geese under his arms. In the caption under the picture he says, “Ladies, do not bicker, do not be jealous, one of you will be stuffed, as to the other it will have the glory of the terrine." A pull of the tab moves the head of one of the doomed geese while the other yaps wildly with big moving beaks.

Small staining at bottom of page and repaired tear.

5. En Famille ((A Family) shows a mother hen gently rocking two baby chicks in a cradle while four other chicks peck around. The story precludes the movable scene as the young chicks beg to go out to play promising their mother to be well behaved and not to do stupid things. The picture on the left text shows the chicks dancing in a circle. However, they were not all very wise as two of the chicks ate so many blackberries they came home sick. After a scolding and mild spanking,

mother hen put the two sick chicks in the same bassinet. As you pull, her leg swings back and forth moving the rocking cradle. The moving leg has been reglued. The metal coil of the rocker was pulled loose and a small repair covers it. Leg and cradle are in good working order. Very light stains and small tears at bottom of page.

6. Lievres et Choux (Hares and Cabbage). In a large cabbage patch three hares discuss the merits of a variety of cabbage plants. Mostly they discuss them as food even referring such items as sauerkraut, "But that belongs to a different species..." (Humans rather than rabbits or hares, I expect) Further they say "They also serve as a hiding place ... pursued by hounds." These are perilous games of hide and seek, through cabbage. In the foreground a hound stretches its head from behind a post. A pull of the tab moves the head of the dog up and down apparently not seeing three hares rising up and down from behind the cabbage plants looking at him. The caption under the movable has the hares saying "Cou-cou, ah! we are here! The dog says, "Which side did they go? I do not see them." However, he must have seen them at some point as the illustration on the left page shows the dog chasing two of them.

Note: The pictures shown in this title do not correspond to any German edition

There is an English version called "Artistic Pussy and her Studio. Moving Pictures with other tales. A Moveable Toybook" from Lothar Meggendorfer. Published by the LW Walter Co. Chicago. Another english edition was published by Thompson & Thomas in Chicago and yet another was published in London by H. Grevel & Co.. The animated pages and illustrations are the same as this one.

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Product Code: MEG-8