Reproduction of Lothar Meggendorfer's 1887 book International Circus thumbnail 1
Reproduction of Lothar Meggendorfer's 1887 book International Circus thumbnail 2
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Reproduction of Lothar Meggendorfer's 1887 book International Circus

Pop-Up Book
1979 (printed)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This is a reproduction of International Circus, the pop-up book originally created in 1887 by Lothar Meggendorfer (1847-1925) and printed in Germany by J.F.Schreiber of Esslingen. A first edition of the work is held in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Novelty and mechanical picture books for children date back to the 1760s when Robert Sayer of London published a series of children's books with hidden pictures. This type of toy book inspired others, and the popular toy theatre sheets published in the early to mid-19th century developed into flap books and eventually into books with movable parts or intricate pop-ups. Lothar Meggendorfer, who was fascinated by the circus and who used circus images in many of his works, is considered the chief innovator and master craftsman of mechanical toy books. International Circus is a series of tableaux that pop up and pop out, depicting over 450 figures in the audience and in the ring, and celebrating the joy of circus especially its equestrian acts, acrobats and clowns. The Frankfurter Journal reviewed the original publication in 1887 calling it: 'The most spectacular of Meggendorfer's surprises.. a book that is certain to astound and delight everyone, and which has the added advantage of entertaining all the children at the house at once, and for a long time, with its ingenious action and life-like and humorous presentation'.


Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleReproduction of Lothar Meggendorfer's 1887 book <i>International Circus</i> (generic title)
Materials and techniques
Printed paper
Brief description
Reproduction of Lothar Meggendorfer's 1887 pop-up book International Circus. Published by Penguin Books and the Viking Press for Kestrel Books, 1979
Physical description
Pop-up book comprised of six sections, creating an octagonal 19th-century circus when constructed. The interior features hundreds of audience members watching six scenes in the ring: Mr. Funtolo on his horse leaping through a flaming gate; Clara Springel leaping and somersaulting from horseback through a hoop held by a clown; Miss Ella riding her stately horse while clowns have trouble riding a donkey; the Sultan's Courier riding four in hand in The Courier of St. Petersburg act; acrobats of the Oriental Company performing balancing tricks, and the Brabo Family riding bareback on two horses.
Dimensions
  • Height: 33.0cm (Note: When closed)
  • Width: 22.0cm (Note: When closed)
  • Diameter: 50cm (Note: When constructed )
Credit line
Gabrielle Enthoven Collection
Subject depicted
Summary
This is a reproduction of International Circus, the pop-up book originally created in 1887 by Lothar Meggendorfer (1847-1925) and printed in Germany by J.F.Schreiber of Esslingen. A first edition of the work is held in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Novelty and mechanical picture books for children date back to the 1760s when Robert Sayer of London published a series of children's books with hidden pictures. This type of toy book inspired others, and the popular toy theatre sheets published in the early to mid-19th century developed into flap books and eventually into books with movable parts or intricate pop-ups. Lothar Meggendorfer, who was fascinated by the circus and who used circus images in many of his works, is considered the chief innovator and master craftsman of mechanical toy books. International Circus is a series of tableaux that pop up and pop out, depicting over 450 figures in the audience and in the ring, and celebrating the joy of circus especially its equestrian acts, acrobats and clowns. The Frankfurter Journal reviewed the original publication in 1887 calling it: 'The most spectacular of Meggendorfer's surprises.. a book that is certain to astound and delight everyone, and which has the added advantage of entertaining all the children at the house at once, and for a long time, with its ingenious action and life-like and humorous presentation'.
Collection
Accession number
S.1-2020

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Record createdJanuary 29, 2020
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