London / New York: Ernest Nister / E.P. Dutton, 1890. Item #04784
A Stunning Surviving Copy
In Full Working Order
[TRANSFORMATION BOOK] [WEATHERLY, Fred E.]. [FOSTER, William, illustrator]. Touch and Go. A Book of Transformation Pictures. With Verses by Fred. E. Weatherly. London: Ernest Nister / New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., [n.d, ca. 1890].
Small folio (12 3/8 x 9 7/8 inches; 315 x 251 mm.). [iv], 16 pp. with eight chromolithographed transformation pictures. Black and white illustrations throughout. Printed in Bavaria.
Publishers quarter red cloth over color glazed pictorial boards, pale green floral design endpapers. Minimal rubbing to the corners, inner hinges expertly strengthened. A wonderful and near fine example with each of the original movable 'transformation' plates in perfect working order.
Children’s poems by F.E. Weatherly and dissolving transformation pictures which change when the tab is pulled. The poems include: “Santa Claus Nister,” “The Case of the Castle,” “The Explanation,” “The Coming of Santa Claus,” “Fine Feathers,” “Little Mother,” “Darby and Joan,” “The Mermaid’s Advice,” “Dolly’s Complaint,” and “L’Envoi.”
Ernest Nister was a printer and publisher based in Nuremberg, Germany. He established a London office in 1888 under the direction of the writer Robert Ellice Mack and, specializing in childrens literature, soon issued pop-up, moveable, and panorama books, as well as standard childrens fare, operating until c. 1917.
"Though primarily involved with his successful color-printing business, publisher and printer Ernest Nister (1842-1909) specialized in colored toy and movable picture books. Operating in both Nuremberg and London in the 1890s, this entrepreneur developed a distinctive style firmly lodged within nineteenth-century aesthetics. However, Nister's images outshine those of his contemporaries by epitomizing an exquisite, sentimental beauty. His artistic vision guides all the works regardless of pop-up mechanics and even of illustrator. In fact, we are uncertain to what extent Nister contributed his own illustrations to these books. In many cases, he imposed his own monogram on images in his imprint, dropping the artist's signature in the course of the production process.
"Nister used a wide range of movable techniques to intrigue children. The popular late nineteenth-century blind format of Changing Pictures, for example, capitalizes on a child's fascination with peek-a-boo. We are surprised to find Jack climbing the beanstalk behind Little Bo-Peep. Nister also animates his pages with simple slats, dimensional scenes, and remarkable pinwheel mechanics. With these basic paper tools, he creates fantastic transformations" (University of Virginia, Pop Goes the Page: Moavable and Mechanical Books from the Brenda Forman Collection).
"Another of the great makers of movable books was also a German - Ernest Nister, many of whose productions between 1891 to 1900 are regarded as among the most beautiful achievements of the entire genre… Ernest Nister's major contribution to the field was a large number of 'dissolving' picture books - developing further the earlier, rather rudimentary items produced by Dean - in which an illustration changed into a completely different scene at the pull of a tab. The effect was achieved through the pictures being printed on slats which slid over each other… One of Nister's busiest writers was a man named Frederic Edward Weatherly, (1848-1929), who, though he may not have been the most accomplished of poets, knew how to write verse that held the attention of children - a skill that he possibly developed reading to his own three children. Before turning to writing Weatherly had been a barrister, but he abandoned the law in favour of composing songs and verse, and during his life produced over thirty books for children." (Peter Haining. Movable Books - An Illustrated History, p.45).