Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell


The Cross / The Double Cross
This page attempts to record what is known about the paperfolding design known as the Cross and its derivative design the Double Cross.Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

The Cross

In Japan


A drawing of the Cross appeared in 'Kindergarten Shoho' (Preliminary Kindergarten) by Iijima Hanjuro, which was copyrighted on October 4th Meiji 17 (1884) and published by Fukuda Senzo in August of Meiji 18 (1885).


In Western Europe / USA

As far as I am aware the Cross (La croix) first appears in a list of designs in the 'Manuel Pratique de Jardins D'Enfants de Friedrich Froebel', which was compiled by J F Jacobs and published in Brussells and Paris in 1859.



The earliest known illustration of this design (pictured from both front and back) is found in 'De Kleine Papierwerkers 1: Wat men van een stukje papier al maken kan: Het vouwen' (The Small Paperwork 1: What one can make from a piece of paper: Folding) by Elise Van Calcar, which was published by K H Schadd in Amsterdam in 1863.



The Cross was also pictured in the revised version of 'Der Kindergarten' by Hermann Goldammer which was published by Carl Babel in Berlin in 1874.



The design appears twice in 'Des Kindes Erste Beschaftigungsbuch' by E Barth and W Niederley, which was first published in Bielefeld and Leipzig, and the foreword of which is dated October 1876, first as a paper fold and then, in a different chapter, as a napkin fold.



There is mention of 'The Cross' in 'The Kindergarten Principle' by Mary J Lyschinska, which was published in London in 1880 by Wm Isbister Ltd, but no illustration is provided.



The design also appears, in a small section in the paper folding chapter which is devoted to napkin folds, in part two of 'The Kindergarten Guide' by Maria Kraus Boelte and John Kraus, which was probably first published by E. Steiger and Company in New York in 1882.



In the introduction to an article on folding 'Nantucket Sinks' (Sanbos on Legs) in the August 1887 issue of the American children's magazine St Nicholas the writer says 'How enchanting it was to see Napoleon's 'breast-pin' transformed in an instant into his 'steamboat' ...' This is possibly a reference to changing the Cross into the Steamship.



This design also appear in 'Pleasant Work for Busy Fingers' by Maggie Browne, which was published by Cassell and Company in London in 1891. Thios book is an English version of 'Des Kindes Erste Beschaftigungsbuch' enhanced by the addition of a few extra designs.



The Cross is pictured, but not named, in Eleonore Heerwart's 'Course in Paperfolding' was first published in Dutch in 1895 then in English by Charles and Dible in London and Glasgow in 1896.


The Cross also appears in:


'Le Livre des Amusettes' by Toto was published in Paris by Charles Mendel in 1899 ...



'Die Frobelschen Beschaftigungen: Das Falten' by Marie Muller-Wunderlich, which was published by Friedrich Brandstetter in Leipzig in 1900.



'El trabajo manual escolar' by Vicente Casto Legua in the January 1907 issue of the Spanish magazine 'La Escuela Moderna' which was published in Madrid by Los Sucesores de Hernando, under the name of Cruz de Saboya (Cross of Savoy)


The Double Cross


This variation appears in 'Le Livre des Amusettes' by Toto was published in Paris by Charles Mendel in 1899 the reverse side of the Cross is developed into the Double Cross shown below.