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SOLD - Buffalo Bill’s Wilder Westen - Meggendorfer* - 1st German edition - Near Fine

meggendorfer Buffalo Bill's Wilder Westen pop-up book

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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:

1. A 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.

2. Roping of wild horses. Again cowboys and Indians working together.

3. Now 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.

4. Things continue to get “wild” as Indians attack a stagecoach. Here is another great battle going on as the passengers peer helpless out the windows.

5. Well, 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).

6. The 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.

Collector’s Corner:

*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 Bill

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.


Product Code: MEG-1
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