EARLY NISTER “POP-UP” BOOK: FREDERIC WEATHERLY’S PEEPS INTO FAIRYLAND
WEATHERLY, Frederic Edward, editor. Peeps into Fairyland. London: Ernest Nister; New York: E.P. Dutton, . Oblong quarto, original half green cloth, varnished pictorial chromolithographic cover, patterned endpapers.
First edition of this early three-dimensional “pop-up” picture book, with six wonderful full-page stand-up scenes by Ernest Nister, and numerous in-text half-tone vignettes and line cuts.
F.E. Weatherly gained fame by collaboration with Beatrix Potter, whose pictures appeared with Weatherly’s poems (“Bunny, Bunny Postman” and “Benjamin Bunny”) in A Happy Pair (1890). Advertised on the title page as “a panorama picture book of fairy stories,” this collection of six fairy tales told by “King Cole,” including “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Babes in the Wood,” contains six corresponding full-page pop-ups by German paper-engineer Ernest Nister. One of Nister’s contributions to the history of movable books is the technique of displaying multi-layered, three-dimensional scenes. This kind of scene had been developed earlier by Dean and then Tuck, but their constructions had to be lifted up or pulled down manually in order to “pop up.” Nister’s constructions did not require manipulation, since each scene was attached by a tab to the facing page, so when the page was turned, the multiple layers automatically opened out. Montanaro, 219. Gift inscription.
Pop-ups bright and fully intact. Moderate soiling to text, tape repair to front endpaper, edge-wear to original boards. An excellent copy. Scarce in any condition.