The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Last updated 27/2/2024


The Sofa / Organ / Piano / Chair
This page is being used to collect information about the history of the paperfolding designs known variously as the Sofa / Organ / Piano and Chair which are developed from the House. 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.

There is a separate page for the Bench with Arms, whch can appear identical to the Sofa in pictures, but is not developed from the House.


In Japan (and in publications by Japanese authors)


The Piano appears in 'Origami (Part 1)' by Isao Honda which was published in 1931.



The same design appears as the 'Piano or Bench' in 'Fun-time Paper Folding' by Elinor Tripato Massoglio, which was published by Childrens Press in Chicago in 1959.


The design also appears, as the 'Spinet', in 'Origami: Book Three' by Florence Sakade, which was published by the Charles E Tuttle Company in Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo in 1959.


In Europe and the Americas


As far as I know the Sofa 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.



The Sofa and the Chair both appear, as 'Bench' and 'Chair' respectively, in 'Paper and Scissors in the Schoolroom' by Emily Weaver, which was published by Milton Bradley Company in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1893.



The same three designs appear in 'Educational Handwork' by T B Kidner, which was published by The Educational Book Company Limited in Toronto in 1910.



The design also appears, as 'El Sofa' in 'El Mundo de Papel' by Dr Nemesio Montero, which was published by G Miranda in Edicions Infancia in Valladolid in 1939.


A second version, based on divisions into thirds so that the two halves of the House overlap, appears in the same book as 'La silla' (The Chair).



Diagrams for both the Sofa and the Chair also appear as 'Meubles Plegados' (Folded Furniture) in 'El Plegado y Cartonaje en la Escuela Primaria' by Antonio M Luchia and Corina Luciani de Luchia, which was published by Editorial Kapelusz in Buenos Aires in 1940.



Diagrams for the Chair also appear as 'La Silla y el Sofa' in 'Papiroflexia' by Elias Gutierrez Gil, which was self-published in 1951.



Designs for a 'Couch', 'Piano' and 'Chair' appear in 'Folding Paper Toys' by Shari Lewis and Lillian Oppenheimer, which was first published by Stein and Day, Inc in the USA in 1963.