The Voyage of Marco Polo.London: Printed in Czechoslovakia for Bancroft & Co. Ltd, 1962 Stock Code: 140702
The present pop-up, in fine working condition, depicts 13th-century explorer Marco Polo aboard the royal carriage, carried by four elephants, accompanying Kublai Khan on a hunt. The designer, Vojtěch Kubašta (19141992), was a Czech architect and artist who drew on his architectural training to engineer complex three-dimensional folding scenes. "Relatively unknown in his own time despite enormous sales in the West, he illustrated and designed more than 300 books, including the first Czech translation of Winnie-the-Pooh (1949)" (ibid.). It was part of Kubašta's Westminster Books "Panascopic Model Series", and was originally published in 1954 by Artia in Czechoslovakia. This later printing was produced for Bancroft, "the first Western publisher to market Kubata's books, which were eventually translated into 37 languages" (Grolier).
Loosely inserted is the publisher's leaflet advertising 12 titles from the "Panascopic Model Books", including In the Jungle, Noah's Ark, Father Christmas, and others.
Folio. Original triptych stiff card pictorial boards, yellow cloth hinges, monochrome illustration to inner cover, 8 pp. of text stapled at fold, double-page pop-up spread depicting Kublai Khan's royal hunting party against pictorial background.
Head- and tailpieces in black and white to text. Pop-up image size: approx. 39 x 30 x 27 cm.
A touch of fraying to extremities, the red ribbon leashes between four elephants and a tiger are still attached; a bright, fine copy in excellent working condition.
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