Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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The Pig and the Corner Cabinet
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the origami designs known as the Pig and the Corner Cupboard which arte both developed from the fold we now call the pig base, although the Cporner Cupboard is the older of the two designs. 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 Corner Cabinet

It is possible that the design called 'La garde-robe' in 'Manuel Pratique de Jardins D'Enfants de Friedrich Froebel', which was compiled by J F Jacobs and published in Brussells and Paris in 1859, is the Corner Cabinet, since it appears in the list of designs in a similar position as the Corner Cabinet does in 'De Kleine Papierwerkers'.

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The Corner Cabinet appears as 'Het hoekkastje' in 'De Kleine Papierwerkers', which was written by Elise Van Calcar and published by K H Schadd in Amsterdam in 1863. From its position in the sequence this design may be developed from a pig base folded from a square that has already been blintzed, although the additional thickness of paper is unnecessary.

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The Corner Cabinet is pictured, but not named, in Eleonore Heerwart's 'Course in Paperfolding', which was first published in Dutch in 1895 then in English by Charles and Dible in London and Glasgow in 1896. From its position in the sequence this design may be developed from a pig base folded from a square that has already been blintzed, although the additional thickness of paper is unnecessary.

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A version of the Corner Cabinet appears in Lois Bates' 'Kindergarten Guide', which was first published by Longmans, Green and Co in London in 1897.

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The Pig

As far as I know this design first appears in the historical record 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.

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In his article 'History of Origami in the East and the West before Interfusion', published in 'Origami 5: Fifth International Meeting of Origami, Science, Mathematics and Education' in 2011, Koshiro Hatori asserts that, ''Many of the European origami models contained in Krause-Boelte's book (ie 'The Kindergarten Guide') are not included in contemporary Japanese records. The pig, house, sofa (also known as piano or organ), balloon (waterbomb), arrow (paper plane), salt cellar (cootie catcher), bird (pajarita or cocotte) and windmill ... were all born in Europe and imported into Japan along with the kindergarten system.'

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The Pig 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.

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In their book 'Froebel's Occupations', published by Houghton, Mifflin and Company, of Boston and New York in 1896, Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith write: 'There is a sequence of simple figures, all life-forms, and all folded so as to stand erect upon the table, which we call the 'Pig' sequence, and which we have found very useful before the folding of symmetrical forms is begun. ... We call the forms successively, the large tent, the snow bank or hillside, the horse-car, the small tent, the table, the card-case, the fireplace, the box, the two canoes, the salt-cellar, the wood basket and finally the pig, - the crowning glory of the sequence, a star of the purest ray and the first magnitude.'

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The Pig also appears in Lois Bates' 'Kindergarten Guide', which was first published by Longmans, Green and Co in London in 1897.

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A drawing of the Pig also appears in Die Frobelschen Beschaftigungen: Das Falten' by Marie Muller-Wunderlich, which was published by Friedrich Brandstetter in Leipzig in 1900.

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Diagrams for the Pig appear in Margaret Campbell's 'Paper Toy Making' published in 1936, although in this case a cut is used to create a wiggly tail. This cut may be one of Margaret Campbell's own creative contributions.