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Our Friends at the Zoo - Raphael Tuck & Sons 1892 Sliding Pictures

Our Friends at the Zoo - Raphael Tuck movable bookPanorama

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Our Friends at the Zoo
Raphael Tuck & Sons ( Publisher )
[16] p. : ill. (some col.) , 14.5cm by 18 cm.
The Combined Expanding Toy and Painting Book Series.
No 609
London, printed in Germany

Movable Book
n.d. 1892*

Inside front cover neat handwritten inscription "from Auntie Ida"
Under that in darker ink different handwriting "about 1890" and finally at bottom of page in the dark ink "Ivot Ross Barber From Dad 1942." I found one Dutch copy that included Amsterdam: J. Vieger with the owner signature dated 1899.

The zoo was a favorite place to visit during the Victorian period and later and many books were published with the Zoo a subject matter. Raphael Tuck produced Our Friends at the Zoo around the turn of the century. Haining (Movable Books) describes it as an inexpensive souvenir probably sold at the London Zoo and later editions in Europe and America. He states that it enjoyed considerable success.

This small book ( 7 X 5 1/2") with 15 pages contains 6 brightly colored "sliding" pictures. The original important directions for pushing the pictures so they easily lift into 3-dimensionsl scenes are still pasted on the inside of the front cover. The story of the visit to the Zoo is told by Kitty, one of the children, on ten pages with sepia writing and drawings on each page. It begins (1) with children entering the gate A Visit to the Zoo, (2) next appears a Polar Bear and a Leopard in cages. The following double scene (3) includes a lively group of monkeys in a large cage with delighted children watching. Next (4) is two cages housing a wolf in one and two foxes in the other. The next scene (5) depicts a lion in one cage and a tiger in the other. These sliding scenes also include surrounding drawings of other cages with animals. The final picture (6) which also lifts shows a trainer walking a large elephant with a group of children riding on top.

Condition - All movable pages complete and in excellent original condition. The front cover paste-on picture is in fair condition with some edge chipping. It depicts a young boy tossing a cookie to an eager bear atop a pole while a smiling young girl in pink bonnet holds another cookie waiting her turn. The back cover also is in fair condition listing more of the books in this series. Tuck's use of the word "expanding" is interesting as his books all pre-date the use of "pop-up." The original spine binding is intact and in excellent condition. The pages are in good condition showing the expected age yellowing and finger smudges where the pages have been pushed to lift.There is light stain across the pages from the zoo scenes. Pages have been reattached and are tightly held together with the original staples. The animals and cages are a bright glossy finish and with careful movement as directions prescribe the collector can keep and enjoy a wonderful zoo experience with much excitement and pleasure as did youngsters and adults more than a century ago. A rare book to treasure.

* Dating this book - an ad complete with drawings of all 6 books in the series appeared in
The Publishers Weekly, Volume 42 - F. Leypoldt, 1892 - page 176 along with the following description:

"The pictures are so arranged that they stand out in relief from the background, giving the Illustrations
panoramic, and hence an interesting effect to children. The back rounds printed in tone, are intended to
be filled in with bright colors by aspiring little artists. These books contain 16 pages, are substantially
in heavy board covers, illuminated and varnished cloth back, and among the most novel productions of
the season. 6 titles."

Returnable if not delighted for any reason. Questions? E-mail us at [email protected]

Collectors Corner:

Collect then all!

This series included:

604 - Robinson Crusoe
605 - Little Red Riding Hood
606 - The Three Bears
607 - The Three Kittens
608 - Fun At The Circus
609 - Our Friends At The Zoo

Questions? Email us at [email protected]

Product Code: T-20