Buffalo Bill’s Wilder Westen: Ein
Bilderbuch zum Austellen für Kinder
Translation: [Buffalo Bill’s
Wild West: A Children’s Picture Book for Display].
Meggendorfer* - Esslingen bei
Stuttgart : J.F. Schreiber - Schreiber, Esslingen (1891).
First German Edition – 1891
Excellent - all original Condition
Color illustrated hardcover original with
6 pop-up scenes.
Large - 150 cm length and
35 cm high
Similar to “International Circus”,
the panorama opens up like an accordion to view six elaborate three tiered
pop-up scenes depicting different parts of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
Condition Report (also see photos):
Excellent – All pop-ups are
clean bright and intact. They are all original and stand up nicely. None
of the intricate pop-up parts are missing! Slight rubbing on the boards. See
photos. Binding is very good. This book has normal age wear and some foxing –
see photos. An amazingly well preserved, likely never played with, original
German pop-up masterpiece. You are welcome to visit us
in Virginia to preview this and any of our other books.
We can share and enjoy this
appreciation of the American West seen in Buffalo Bill’s Wilder Westen as
interpreted by the artist. Let’s look! We begin with a
bright clean front cover picture depicting two Indians attacking a
cowboy. In a large circle above the title is a very handsome portrayal of
Buffalo Bill. Open the book to a series of six panels with no
interior writing including:
buffalo hunt depicts cowboys and Indians working together in the hunt.
This is an important scene as Buffalo Bill had his nickname from this activity
and made this a major part of the Wild West Show.
of wild horses. Again cowboys and Indians working together.
the “wild” west really enters the picture. An Attack on Settlers Home is
complete with guns, knives, bows and arrows, scalping and a screaming
woman. Horses, cowboys and Indians all falling in the fight. Even
the cowboys riding to the rescue are being met by armed Indians.
continue to get “wild” as Indians attack a stagecoach. Here is another
great battle going on as the passengers peer helpless out the windows.
it looks like Buffalo Bill has made the peace. Sitting tall astride a great
horse he and others watch an apparent horse race between an Indian and a
cowboy. (Good to see Buffalo Bill back in the picture).
final pop-up depicts three cowboys hunting a bear that is in the process of
killing a deer.
The Back cover (darkened with age)
has a written description of the scenes. I would love to read the
descriptions (just can’t manage the German writing – but really enjoyed the
pictures!) Hope you do too.
*Is Buffalo Bill really a
Meggendorfer? His name is on the reprints but does not appear on the
early book. Many consider it to be a Meggendorfer, especially since Lothar
Meggendorfer 1847 - 1925. Werkverzeichni (bibliography) –
comboxx 2012, a 400 page Catalogue Raisonné for Meggendorfer,
lists it on page 57. Additionally, several nineteenth century Buffalo Bill
English publishers ads can be found listing Buffalo Bill as a Meggendorfer.
( Scroll down to see some of the references). What's interesting however, is that the the artistic style is not similar to any other known Meggendorfer works. The book style and paper engineering are very similar to other Meggendorfer masterpieces such as International Circus. The publisher is the same as the other Meggendorfer works. Our best speculation is that a different artist created the scenes while Meggendorfer did the paper engineering.
About Buffalo Bill:
This intro is not intended as a
comprehensive biography of Buffalo Bill, but rather highlights information
relevant to the background of this book.
William F. Cody (Buffalo 1845-1917)
lived a life that was part fabrication and continues today as part legend not
only in America but also in Europe. In truth he lived a very meaningful
life even though sometimes criticized for stereotyping of the American Indian
as well as exaggeration and Romanticizing of the “wild” west he left an enduring
contribution in his dedication to conservation as well as preservation and
appreciation not only for the history but also the cultures of the settlers but
also of native Americans whose rights he strongly supported. He remained a
strong advocate for conservation throughout his life.
Cody grew up in the west working in
various jobs and it was his occupation of hunting buffalo that earned him his
nickname of BUFFALO BILL. Noted for his skill and bravery as well as his
success as an army scout and exploits with the Indians in real life made him
something of a hero. Much was written about him and he even acted the
role in stage productions.
Buffalo Bill organized Buffalo Bill’s
Wild West Show (1883-1908) an outdoor extravagance dramatizing western
scenes. Yes, perhaps somewhat romantasized or sentimental, exaggerated or
sensational the show was a great success in America and Europe. Despite
the showmanship Buffalo Bill sincerely wished to develop a grand picture of the
American West. As “the real thing” (a phrase he liked to use) he included
live animals, real people including prairie Indians, transporting them with
great care and respect across the United States and Europe. Enormously
successful Buffalo Bill became a recognized celebrity not only in America but
also in Europe. Queen Victoria was captivated with her visit to the show
and invited him again to England. As well as celebrated in many countries
according to some reports he was especially appreciated by the Germans.
(Perhaps that is why Meggandofer could have used him as subject matter unlike
any of his other pop-up or movable books).
Meggendorfer references for Buffalo
Publishers weekly, Volume 46 – dated
1894 (By R.R. Bowker Company, Publishers'
Board of Trade (U.S.), Book Trade Association of Philadelphia, Am. Book Trade
Association, American Book Trade Union) page # 364 lists the 4 NEW American
market Meggendorfer books including International Circus, Buffalo Bill, Monkey
Theater, and The Doll's House.
The 1886 Book Trade
Publication “Gesammt-Verlags-Katalog des deutschen Buchhandels: Ein Bild ...,"
Volume 15 – page 631 also list’s Buffalo Bill as a Meggendorfer.
The American Journal, The Literary
news: a monthly journal of current literature, Volume 15 dated 1894,
does a literary review of children’s books available for Christmas of
1894. On page 386 they list Buffalo Bill’s Wild West as a Meggendorfer.
The Publishers' Circular and
Booksellers' Record of British and Foreign Literature Volume 55 page
374 published in 1891 Lists the 3 new Meggendorfer Theatrical Toybooks as
such: International Circus, Buffalo Bill, and The Doll's House.