The Popular Edge, Pop-Up and Book Arts News

December 2, 2012

Metamorphosis Books

Filed under: books, paper crafts — Tags: , , — popularkinetics @ 7:13 pm

   Metamorphosis Book  
The metamorphosis book, also referred to as the “harlequinade,” was a simple movable book format that first appeared in the mid 1600’s. Later in the 1770’s, inexpensive harlequinades were printed in England featuring the adventures of a harlequin character popularized in pantomime  theater plays at that time. The books featured a full-page image overlayed with two half-page pictures that lined up with the image underneath. By turning up and down the half-page flaps, four versions of the illustration would appear and the storyline would be advanced. Werner Nekes has created a delightful little YouTube video of these books in action. Today we are inundated with moving images of all types, so it’s often hard for us to image how exciting this simple device must have been in a time when “movies” did not exist.

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