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Nister - Pretty Polly 1800's Pop-up Book - Fine

Nister - Pretty Polly Antique Movable Book

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Pretty Polly: A Novel Panorama Picture Book

Nister and Dutton, London and New York, 1897

9 1/2 X 7 1/2" - 245 x 200 mm

4 double page 2 tier pop-ups

Condition: excellent condition, clean, tight, all parts complete, original , and no repairs needed. The covers are in good shape with only light shelf wear and one small lower front corner bump. The brown spine cloth is also very good. End sheets very good with gift inscription "To Harold with love from Uncle Ernest, Xmas 1897." The pages show some expected age coloring and occasional light finger smudges and hardly visible bits of foxing , basically clean with little signs of wear.

The pop-ups (on different paper as usual) remain bright and colorful. A most desirable book rarely found in such wonderful condition.

Long considered one of Nister's favorite books Pretty Polly is an extraordinary example representative of the persistent themes that characterize his work.

The charm begins with a lovely golden haired girl in pretty dress feeding her pet parrot (Polly) while a dog at her feet sits waiting his turn.

The book opens to 26 pages of stories and verse, many drawings and four multilayered wonderful chromolithographic pop-ups. These include

Work by C. Bingham, Edith Nesbit, F.E. Weatherly (all well-know writers who contributed to numerous Nister books) and illustrations by several artists. The double spread pop-ups, illustrated by Helena Maguire and Emily Hardy, include:

1. How Dare You shows six kittens surrounding a bird cage. While one laps some cream the other five carefully eye the open door of a bird cage. Despite their obviously hopeful attention, the bird is not inside. Instead, a brightly colored Pretty Polly perches atop the cage safely observing the situation as if they just dare her to try get down. Not considering the dare, Polly seems smugely to be in complete control of the situation. The pop-ups are fine with all multiple thin bars of the cage in perfect condition.

2. Cinderella's Coach is a spectacular pop-up likely the most popular one in the book. Four prancing horses pull an elegant red carriage in which a lovely Cinderella sits wearing a crown and holding a glass slipper. She is attended by four splendidly attaired coachmen. Two ride/drive the carriage, one runs alongside and another on horseback gallops swiftly ahead. Intricately detailed with even small/thin parts in fine condition, this dramatic pop-up depicts to the fullest the excitement of the occassion.

3. At the Sea returns to one of Nister's most distinctive themes - beautiful young children with pets joyfully at play in ideal settings. Three young girls and a dog splash in the water while a boy and young girl with a puppy enjoy a boat ride. An particular interest is unusual effect is created by the boat, size and position, appearing to be fast approaching the viewer. You almost feel the splash or need to jump.

4. Oranges and Lemons is the name of a game described in the poem by Weatherly and illustrated by Hardy. The last line of the poem,"... the sunny dreams of my own happy childhood" are portrayed in the sentimental beauty of this pop-up. Within the depicted background of an elegant Victorian parlor nine children (all very lovely and handsomely dressed) are enjoying great fun playing together. No dirty faces, scuffed shoes or torn pants, no fussing or crying - just smiling children in especially nice clothing happily playing a lively push and pull game. A puppy who wants to join the game tugs at one childs dress. A fluffly cat sits on a fancy stool, complete with a blue ribbon around the neck, watching the fun. In total, a very pleasing situation. Nister has spoken!


Product Code: N-15