The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Seals / Sealions
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of folded Paper Seals and Sealions. 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.


In Japan


The earliest treatment of this subject that I know of appears in 'Origami (Part 1)' by Isao Honda, which was first published in Japan in 1931.


A second, quite heavily cut, version of a seal design appears in 'Origami: Folding Paper for Children' by Claude Sarasas, which was first published by Kodansha in Tokyo in 1951.


In Western Europe / USA


The extended version of 'El Mundo de Papel' by Dr Nemesio Montero, which was published by G Miranda in Edicions Infancia in Valladolid in 1951, contains a design for 'La Foca' (The Seal).


1954 onwards

The 1954 Rupert Annual included diagrams which showed 'How To Make A Paper Sealion and Penguin'. The Sealion design looks very similar to the one published by Honda in 1931.


A similar design appears in 'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956. The text says, 'Origin: British - by kind permission of the Daily Express Rupert Annual.'



'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956 contained diagrams for Harbin's Seal.



A Seal is pictured, but not explained, in 'How to Make Origami' by Isao Honda, which was published by Toto Shuppan Co. Ltd in Japan. by McDowell Obolensky of New York in the USA and by Museum Press Ltd of London in England, in 1959.