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The Speaking Picture Book 10th edition - in original Box! Near Fine

with original box
The Speaking Picture Book - Antique Toy Book

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The Speaking Picture Book - rare 10th edition - German

Das Sprechende Bilderbuch - Sonnenberg Theodor Brands Verlag

Rare 10th edition German Theodor Brand edition. As the 10th edition, this book was probably published around 1889. It is the earliest edition that we have seen come on the market in recent years.

Near fine condition in original wooden AND original outer protective cardboard box.

With 8 chromolithograph plates, each with an accompanying poem and animal noises operated by pull strings with ivory pulls.

This is the earliest edition that we have seen come on the market in recent years and the only one we've seen that still has the original cardboard box. Even more remarkable is the sounds each bellow makes. Often the sounds have become mere squeaks after 100 + years. This copy sounds much like each animal from the baby birds to the cow. See video at the bottom of this description to hear the sounds. It appears that this book has never been slit open to view the bellows - it is still glued tight.

Condition details.

Book/wooden book box: Everything is near fine and in all original condition with no evidence of past repairs except for the replacement of one ivory pull with an actual ivory pull form another speaking picture book. All pulls and bellows are present and work very well. Pages are excellent with no writing and no tears. Spine is strong and near fine with only tiny tears at corners. Gold gilding and red tooled covers remain beautiful.

Outer cardboard box: A simple box with a black and aged white label that simply says “Speaking Picture Book”. Box is complete but torn at corners and a bit worn from all of its years of protecting the treasure inside. See photos.

Collector's Corner:

The Speaking Picture Book, is thought to be the earliest interactive sound book.

The Speaking Picture Book was first produced in Nuremberg, Germany, by publisher Theodore Brand, the book’s inventor. Brand obtained a German patent for the book in 1878, and a British patent followed a year later. In addition to the German edition, English, French and Spanish editions were published.

According to deadmedia.org, “This Victorian toy, primitive though it is, is probably still the best synthetic speech toy to reach the market, and was certainly the predecessor of the Vocoder and of modern electronic voice synthesizers.”

‘The piece de resistance of any collection of movables, or toy-books for that matter, is surely The Speaking Picture Book (c. 1893), an item of such charm and fascination that even the most blasé modern parents or their children can hardly fail to be captivated by it. Stored in an ordinary brown cardboard box, this ‘Special Book with Picture, Rhyme and Sound for Little People’ is a delight to handle, eye-catching in appearance, and quite remarkably authentic in the sounds it produces.’

(Peter Haining, Movable Books An Illustrated History, New English Library Ltd., 1979)


Product Code: A-29

Antique "movable" toy book
The Speaking Picture Book Animal sounds