Mignon Theatre of Mecca

[Austrian Toy Theatre]. The Caravan to Mecca. The Halt in the Desert.

Vienna, M. Trentsensky / London, A. N. Myers & Co., [before 1856].

Folio (387 x 242 mm). 49 hand-coloured illustrations on 6 plates and hand-coloured folding lithographed backdrop (desert scene; ca. 580 x 224 mm). Original blue wrappers with lithographed cover label.


Charming Mignon Theatre of the kind popularized by the Viennese publisher Trentsensky around the mid-19th century and distributed throughout England by their London agent Myers, & Co. on the corner of Oxford and Berners Street. The desert landscape backdrop is to be populated by the pilgrims, camels, resting horses, etc., with plants, a large tent, a cooking fire, and many other details, all to be cut out from the present set of plates. Issued as "Exercises in Colouring", this set was clearly coloured by a trained contemporary artist rather than a dilettante.

The front cover is stained, spine splitting, but the plates are clean and well-preserved. Rarely encountered complete, well-coloured, and in the original state. Another example, prominently featured in the 2012 Hajj exhibition at the British Museum, was cut and mounted.


Hajj. Journey to the heart of Islam. London, British Museum 2012, p. 125 (fig. 125).