A paperfolding paradise
The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell
|The Spanish Elephant|
page attempts to record what is known about the origin
and history of the Spanish Elephant. Please contact me if
you know any of this information is incorrect or if you
have any other information that should be added. Thank
There is an article with further information about this design by David Lister at https://britishorigami.info/academic/lister/pack_mule.php which states, inter alia, 'the Pack Mule and the Elephant appear in many Spanish and Argentinean books of paperfolding, including "El Mundo de Papel" by Nemesio Montero (1939), "El Plegado y Cartonaje" (1940) by Corina Lucia and Antonio Lucia, "Papiroflexia" by E. Gutierrez Gil (undated) and "Papiro Zoo" by Giordano Lareo (1941). The Elephant, but not the Pack Mule appears in "Tratado de Papiroflexia Superior" (1944) by Dr. Vicente Solorzano Sagredo, who had been born in Spain, but who had emigrated to Argentina.'
It is worth noting, however, that the Elephant does not in fact appear in 'El Plegado y Cartonaje'.
As far as I know this heavily, and multiply, cut design first appears in 'El Mundo de Papel' by Dr Nemesio Montero, which was published by G Miranda in Edicions Infancia in Valladolid in 1939.
The design also appears:
In the 1952 Rupert Annual under the title 'How To Make A Paper Elephant'.
As 'The Elephant' in 'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956. The text notes, 'Origin: Spanish'.