The Speaking Picture Book - rare 10th edition - German. In original outer box
Das Sprechende Bilderbuch - Sonnenberg Theodor Brands Verlag
edition German Theodor Brand edition. As the 10th edition, this book was probably published around 1889. It is one of the earliest editions that we have seen come on the market in recent years.
Near fine working condition
in its original wooden AND original labeled outer protective cardboard box.
(See ad below from 1882 promoting this book as being sold in either a cardboard case or elegant wooden box)
With 8 chromolithograph plates, each with an accompanying poem and animal noises operated by pull strings with ivory pulls.
This is one of the
earliest editions that we have seen come on the market in recent years and the
only one that we've seen that still has the original cardboard box.
Excellent sounds - Even more remarkable are the sounds each
bellow makes. Often when you find one of these books, the sounds have become mere squeaks after 100 + years. This copy, however, sounds much like each animal from the baby birds to the cow. It appears that this book has never been slit open to view the bellows - it is still glued tight.
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 from another speaking picture book. All pulls and bellows are present and
work very well. The pages are excellent with no writing and no tears. The spine is
strong and near fine with only tiny tears at the corners. Gold gilding and red
tooled covers remain beautiful.
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.
The Speaking Picture Book is thought to be the earliest interactive sound book.
The earlier editions came in either a cardboard box or a hand-carved wooden box.
Almost all SPB's seen on the market are without their original cardboard or wooden case.
Vintagepopupbooks.com has one each - with its cardboard box and its wooden box available to view on this site.
The ad below is from Perry & Co's monthly illustrated price current Volume 15, 1882 page 141
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.
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
(Peter Haining, Movable Books An Illustrated History,
New English Library Ltd., 1979)