Antique Children’s Book, 1898 German Fairy Tales Pop-Up Book

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We sold this item at auction for $341
 in May 2016.

This early and quite rare German pop-up book entitled “Im Marchenlande” by Therese Scheref contains six beautiful pop-up illustrations of some of the most classic fairy tales in children’s literature. Britannic Auctions sold this antique children’s book for $341.

Scheref’s “Im Märchenlande” (“In Fairyland”) is a collection of fairy tales that transports young readers to enchanting lands filled with magic, adventure, and wonder.

Famous stories illustrated in vibrant colors include Humpty Dumpty, Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood and more. The pop-up artwork is extremely well done and is still moveable after nearly 120 years. It is obvious that the child who owned this book at the turn of the century took very good care of it, unlike many of us did with our books and toys as children!

Published by Nurnberg Stroefer in 1898, the only other copy of “Im Marchenlande” we were able to track down at the time of the sale at auction was held in Berlin, Germany.

german-antique-little-red-riding-hood
A pop-up illustration of “Little Red Riding Hood”

The History of Antique Children’s Books

Early antique children’s books emerged in the 18th century, marking a shift towards literature specifically tailored for young readers. Initially marketed to affluent families, these books aimed to entertain and educate children, often featuring moral lessons and colorful illustrations. They heralded the beginning of children’s literature as a distinct genre.

Some of the most famous children’s books sold at auction include:

  1. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll: A first edition of this beloved classic sold for $1.5 million at a 2016 auction.
  2. “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by J.K. Rowling: A handwritten and illustrated copy, originally owned by Rowling’s publisher, fetched £1.95 million at auction in 2007.
  3. “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien: A first edition of this fantasy classic sold for £137,000 at a 2021 auction.
  4. “Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne: A first edition of this timeless tale sold for £50,000 at a 2008 auction.

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