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Last updated 1/3/2024


The Bench and the Bench with Arms
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the origami design I call the Bench. 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.

Although of similar appearance, not all the designs on this page are of identical design.



A design called 'De bank' (the bank) appears in 'De Kleine Papierwerkers 1' by Elise Van Calcar, which was published by K H Schadd in Amsterdam in 1863. The text says that this design is developed from the Cigar Case.



'Die Praxis Des Kindergartens' by Auguste Koehler, which was published by Herman Bohlau in Weimar in 1873, contains instructions two designs developed from Version 2 of the Cigar Case, one of which is the Bench and another a Bench with Arms.

Bank mit Lehne / The Bench


Sofa / Bench with Arms



The Bench and Bench with Arms designs also appear in 'Kindergarten Practice' by Mary Gurney, which is a substantially abridged version, in two parts, of 'Die Praxis Des Kindergartens' by Auguste Koehler. The second part, 'Froebel's Plane Surfaces', contains sections dealing with paper folding, cutting and weaving. The date of the first edition is not known. The second edition was published in 1877 in London by A N Myers and Co. The text makes it clear that these designs are developed from Version 2 of the Cigar Case.

Seat / The Bench


Armchair / The Bench with Arms



A version of the Bench design appears as 'un sofa' in a drawing headed 'Cuento de Paper' (Paper Story) published in Apeles Mestres' 'Llibre Vert III' which is dated 2nd August 1883. (Information from Coral Roma.) In this case the design appears to have been developed from Version 1 of the Cigar Case.



The Bench with Arms 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.



The same pictorial story featuring a version of the Bench (see entry for 1883 above) was also published, in a rearranged format, on 29th April 1908, in the last ever issue of the Catalan satirical magazine 'La Campana Catalana'.



The design also appears as 'Sofa' in 'Ciencia Recreativa' by Jose Estralella, which was published by Gustavo Gili in Barcelona in 1918. Note that the arms are floating rather than attached to the base.