Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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Paper Magic by Robert Harbin, 1956
 
'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956. The illustrations were drawn by the now disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris who also contributed designs to the book.

The book contains a long introduction and a brief bibliography (extracted from Gershon Legman's 'A Bibliography of Paper Folding' which had been privately published in 1952).

The author has clearly taken some care to try to identify the source of each design. This is extremely useful to the paperfolding historian.

There are around 117 designs in all.

I have divided the designs into four categories:

1. Unattributed designs (53 designs)

2. Designs attributed to other designers / contributed or sourced by or from other people (16 designs)

3. Designs by the author, Robert Harbin (37 designs, two joint creations with Rolf Harris)

4. Designs by the illustrator, Rolf Harris (11 designs, including four cartoonish designs from compound paper shapes that I have not included in the analysis on this page).

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Unattributed Designs

The Dart / The Paper Dart

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The Nose Cap / The Mitre

The Mitre is used as a Nose Cap to weight the tip of the Paper Dart.

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Soldier's Hat / The Pyramidal Hat

The Newspaper Hat appears as a stage in the folding of the Pyramidal Hat but is not named as a separate design.

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The Boat / The Paper Boat

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Snapper 1 / The Paper Boat Snapper

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Snapper 2 / The Snapdragon

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The Forage Cap / The Air Force Cap

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Another Purse

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Another Hat / A version of the Kabuto

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The Banger / The Single Barrelled Banger

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Another Boat / The Blunt Ended Boat

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The Baby's Cot / The Cradle

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The Dustpan / The Winnowing Box

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The Martian Helmet / The Kabuto

The text also says: 'Origin: Japanese Fighting Man's Helmet'.

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The Salt Cellar / The Magic Colour Changer

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The Multiform

This sequence of folds from the doubly blintzed square produces a number of traditional / Froebelian designs

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The Table

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The Double Boat or Catamaran / The Double Hulled Boat

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The Windmill

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The Vase (pictured as an intermediate step but not named)

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The Boat in Full Sail / The Boat with Sail

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The Hobby Horse / The Cocotte / Pajarita

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The Water Dish / The Junk Box

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The Life Boat / The Sampan

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The Kitchen Sink or Four-Legged Container / The Sanbo on Legs

The text notes 'Origin: Japanese'.

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The Trough / A simple variant of the Sanbo on Legs

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Norseman's Helmet / A simple variant of the Sanbo on Legs

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The Suit of Clothes / The Japanese Warrior / The Jacket / The Trousers / The Doll

The face of the Warrior is a simple paper tube.

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The Catamaran / The Double Boat

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The Lover's Knot

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The Ash Tray

The text notes 'Origin: Japanese'.

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Utility Box / The Blintz Box

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The Pig

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The Dart Flight / Paper Flights

No information about the use of this fold as a Dart Flight is given. It is just treated as a base.

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Hand Basket

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Festival Lanterns / Le Kiosque Japonais

The text notes, ' Many of these can be seen in the Pleasure Gardens of Kure, Japan. They are made of stone.' ( have not been able to verify this information.)

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Jumping Frog / The Blow-up Frog

The text notes 'Origin: Japanese'.

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Blow-up Frog / A variation of the Blow-up Frog

The text notes 'Origin: Japanese'.

This seems to be a variation of the Blow-up Frog to make it hold together better when inflated to the fullest possible extent.

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The Stork or Chinese Sitting Bird / The Paper Crane

The text notes, 'This model can be formed sitting, standing or flying, as you please.'

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The Flying or Flapping Bird / The Flapping Bird

The text notes, 'Japanese masterpiece: The Classic Paper Fold'.

The Introduction contains a section relating to this design which says:

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The Dog-Faced Monkey

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The Elephant / The Spanish Elephant

The text notes, 'Origin: Spanish'.

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The Pack Mule with Panniers / The Donkey with Panniers

The text notes, 'Origin: Spanish'.

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The Fish

The text notes, 'Japanese'.

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The Waterbomb

The text notes 'Classical Japanese'.

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The Kettle / Tea Kettle

The text notes, 'Origin: Water-bomb Japanese'.

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The Bellows

The text says, 'Origin: Japanese'.

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The Horned Demon / The Wild Man from Borneo

The text says, 'Part Japanese, Part Western'.

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Gliders / The Swallow

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The Water Dish / The Junk Box

The text says, 'Origin:Japanese'.

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The Barge / The Chinese Junk wihout the ends raised

The text says, 'Origin:Japanese'.

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The Chinese Junk

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The Purse / The Puzzle Purse

The text says, 'Origin:Japanese'.

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The Pagoda

The text says, 'Origin: Japanese.'

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Designs attributed to other designers / contributed or sourced by or from other people

The Penguin

The text notes, 'Margaret Campbell's method'.

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The Rabbit

Developed from the Waterbomb.

The text notes,' Unknown origin. Passed to the author by Mr W McComb of Ireland.'

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The Bar and Bolt / Cleopatra's Barge (Chinese Junk Variation)

Attributed to Gershon Legman

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Long Chinese Junk (untitled in the book)

Herbert McKay's method of making a longer Chinese Junk from a square.

The author extends this idea to make longer versions still from lomger strips of paper.

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Plumed Hat

Attributed to Herbert Mckay.

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The Seal

The text says, 'Origin: British - by kind permission of the Daily Express Rupert Annual.'

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The Penguin

Developed from the Seal (above)

The text says, 'From the Daily Express Rupert Annual'.

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The Magician's Purse

The text says, 'Source ... Alex Housmann, Germany'.

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The Bow Tie

This design is folded from a ten shilling note (or a dollar).

The text says, 'This excellent variation of the Lover's Knot was shown by Mr Cy Endfield to Mr Gershon Legman.'

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Pair of Shorts (from a banknote)

Attributed to Orville Meyer, U.S.A.

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The Double Note

Attributed to Will Goldston

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The Peacock (from a banknote)

The text says, 'Origin: Spanish. Passed to the author by Cy Endfield, U.S.A.'

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The Sphinx

Attributed to Unamuno.

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The Table

Attributed to Unamuno.

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The Moor at Prayer

The text says, 'Spanish origin, created by a pupil of Unamuno.'

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The Moor at the Fireside

The text says, 'Origin: Spanish'. However, the Introduction states that this design was also created by the same pupil of Unamuno.

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Designs by Robert Harbin

Harbin's 'Scotsman's Purse'

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Harbin's 'Spaceman's Helmet' / A simple variant of the Sanbo on Legs

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Harbin's 'Tortoise' / Bob-Tailed Lizard

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Harbin's 'Bath Tub'

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Harbin's 'Container'

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Harbin's 'Shy Tortoise'

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Harbin's 'Space Rocket' and 'Another Space Rocket'

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Harbin's 'Eagle' and 'Crow'

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Harbin's 'Aeroplane'

The text does not give any instruction for launching this plane and it may have been intended to be a static model.

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Harbin's 'Peacock'and 'Turkey'

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Harbin's 'Seal'

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Harbin's 'Kangaroo'

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Harbin's 'Giraffe'

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Harbin's 'Boat with Mast'

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Harbin's 'Bat'

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Harbin's 'SpaceTaxi'

Developed from the Kettle.

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Harbin's 'Scottie Dog'

Half Waterbomb, half Bellows

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Harbin's 'Outer Space Ship'

Made from the Preliminary Fold

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Harbin's 'Christmas Star Decoration'

Made by sewing together six Outer Space Ships.

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Harbin's 'Baluchiterium'

Developed from the Outer Space Ship

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Harbin's 'King Penguin'

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Harbin's 'Buckle / Chinese Junk Variation'

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Pound Note Barge (a version of the Chinese Junk from a pond note)

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Harbin's Boat

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Harbin's 'Submarine'

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Harbin's 'Carabinieri Hat'

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Harbin's 'Vase No 1 and No 2'

The text says, 'These are examples of things that can be created by just 'doodling'.

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Harbin's 'Candlestick'

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Harbin's 'Merry - Go - Round'

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Harbin's 'Pouch'

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Harbin's 'Swan'

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The Diamond Ring (from a banknote)

(with Rolf Harris)

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The Super Ring (from a banknote)

(with Rolf Harris)

From the Cowboy Trousers

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Designs by Rolf Harris

The Bearded Pilgrim

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The Homing Pigeon

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Arabian Headdress

Made by opening out the Scottie Dog.

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Santa Claus / Man in a Duffle Coat

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Tobacco Jar

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The Cowboy Trousers (from a banknote)

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