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New & Notable Pop-ups & Movables

Featured on Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn: New & Notable Pop-ups & Movables from the Cooper-Hewitt Library:

The first movable books for children, developed in England in the 1700s, were harlequinades (stories featuring the comic character Harlequin). Designed to teach a moral, the tale unfolds as a series of flaps are opened.

The Falshood of External Appearances
(sic) created in the 1790s in England is a fine example of a flap book
called a harlequinade. Also known as “turned up” books, harlequinades
were first created by English bookseller and printer Robert Sayer in
1765. They are considered to be the first movable books created for
children. Sayer, who originally called these books “metamorphoses,” was
inspired by the popularity of pantomime productions of his day. He
mimicked the changing scenes of a play with the use of a series of
illustrated flaps—that when lifted revealed the next scene of the
narrative.  Like the pantomime theater performance, harlequinades often
featured the adventures of a clown or harlequin and were often written
to teach a moral. Purchased  with the support of the Libraries Special
Collections Fund.—Elizabeth Broman

The Falshood of External Appearances, England, ca. 1790

The Falshood of External Appearances, England, ca. 1790

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