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The Speaking Picture Book 10th edition - Near Fine in original outer Box - Rare German edition

with original box
The Speaking Picture Book - Antique Toy Book

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The Speaking Picture Book - rare 10th edition - German. In original outer box

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 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)

Cardboard 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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