July 14, 2011

Vintage Moveable Review: Bajazzo

One of my favorite pop-up books is also one the most mysterious. This German edition is titled “Bajazzo, Die Freude Heiner Leute”. My German is very sparse but one translation I found read as: Pagliacci the happy Heiner people. This leads us to the Italian opera Pagliacci that premiered in Milan in 1892. Based on the paper and the coiled wire rivets I would place the book’s creation around that time period. The book contains seven lithograph color plates with multiple movable parts activated by a pull tab. The mechanisms are simpler than Meggendorfer and more in line with movable books from Capendu in France. Alas, while the actions are interesting and bizarre they do not match up with the plot of the opera. One can surmise that the movable book is less an adaptation but an original narrative starring this Italian clown. The 25 page accompanying text suggests that the author was a Georg Tllers and the publisher may be Burgftadt or from the Burgstadt region in Germany.

While I do enjoy the book as well as a good mystery, if any reader has more insight or information on this title, please feel free to comment below.



linda said...

the title of the book is "Bajazzo, die Freude kleiner Leute". Translation: Bajazzo, the joy (or amusement) of little people" We assume that 'little people' means not only children but also simple not so wealthy people.
We have not found any hint in german speaking catalogues (Germany, Austria, Svizzerland) regarding the title or the name so far. The title will not directly refer to the opera Pagliacci from Leoncavallo. Coming from the French (pailasse) or the Italian (baia) Bajazzo (also Bajass in some southern dialects) in the german language stands for a clown (from the circus), we also know him as Hanswurst, Possenreisser, dummer August)i.e. a person making nonsense. (see also http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bajazzo - i will translate it if you like. The pictures do not allow to say something about the date of publication, but it seems at first sight to be before 1870). If you are so kind to send me an email adress we would be pleased to give you more information.
Kind greetings from Cologne Germany
Linda Hamstead
sammlung paperboxx

Kyle said...

Wow Paperboxx comes through again with great information! Thank you Linda for the proper translation of the title and some background on German clown names, I like Hanswurst the best. Danke!