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24th Feb 2022
Lothar Meggendorfer Aus dem Leben estimate 400 600 2

Two moveable picture books by German master Lothar Meggendorfer which are described as being in ‘remarkable condition’ will go under the hammer in Keys Auctioneers & Valuers’ first two day Book Sale of the year on 16th and 17th March.

The two volumes date from 1885 and 1887, with one in complete working order – a very rare occurrence given the appeal to children to pull the tabs, and the intricate and delicate mechanisms to make the characters move on the page.

The third edition of Aus dem Leben, Lustiges Ziehbilderbuch (‘Taken From Life, An Amusing Picturebook’) is dated 1885, and features eight full page cold tab operated moveables, all of which are in full working order.  The volume has its original cloth-backed pictorial boards, and has a contemporary inscription on the front pastedown.

The second volume, the sixth edition of Neue Thierbilder, Ein Ziehbilderbuch (‘New Animal Pictures’), dated 1887, also includes eight full page cold tab operated moveables.  Most are in working order, although one or two moving parts are detached.

“Because of their intricate mechanisms, Meggendorfer’s books tended to be damaged quite quickly by eager children,” said Keys head of books Andrew Lindsay-Bullock.  “It is very rare to find copies with much of the moveable parts still working, let alone where every tableau is in working order, as is the case with Aus dem Leben.

“We are expecting these to appeal to collectors in the UK, Germany and the US.”

Aus dem Leben has a pre-sale estimate of £400-£600; Neue Thierbilder has a pre-sale estimate of £100-£150.

Lothar Meggendorfer (1847-1925) was an illustrator and cartoonist who was renowned for his moveable books.  While studying at the Munich Academy of Arts in the 1860s, he was a student of the actor and puppeteer Joseph Schmid, who had a great influence on his work.  As well as in Germany, his moveable books were sold in Belgium, Czechoslovakia, England, France, Hungary, Russia, Spain and the United States.

Full details of Keys two day Book Sale, which takes place on Wednesday 16th March and Thursday 17th March, can be found at www.keysauctions.co.uk.