A paperfolding paradise
The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell
|The Frame and the Picture Frame|
page attempts to record what is known about the origin
and history of the origami design known as the Frame,
which is folded from a windmill base and of the same
design folded from a blintzed windmill base, which, in
order to distinguish the two, will be referred to on this
page / site as the Picture Frame. Please contact me if
you know any of this information is incorrect or if you
have any other information that should be added. Thank
The Frame is developed from the Open Box and can in turn be developed into the Mirror. The Picture Frame is developed from the Junk Box and can in turn be developed into the Looking Glass.
Where the context is insufficient it can be difficult to know which of the two versions of the design is being pictured or referred to. It is possible that I have made mistakes when trying to work out which is which.
Both designs, both called 'Le cadre', appear in separate lists of designs in the 'Manuel Pratique de Jardins D'Enfants de Friedrich Froebel, which was compiled by J F Jacobs and published in Brussells and Paris in 1859. In this case, although there are no illustrations in the book, the context makes it clear which design is which.
A design called 'Den Rahmen' (the frame), which is not illustrated, but which from the context is most probably the Picture Frame, appears in a list of designs in 'Der Kindergarten' by Hermann Goldammer, which was published by Habel in Berlin in 1869.
'Paradise of Childhood' by Edward Wiebe, which was published by Milton, Bradley and Company in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1869, and is effectively a translation of Goldammer's 'Der Kindergarten', similarly includes 'the frame' in its list of Forms of Life.
The Frame appears, as the 'Picture Frame', in 'The Kindergarten Principle' by Mary J Lyschinska, which was published in London in 1880 by Wm Isbister Ltd. The Picture Frame is also mentioned but no illustration is provided.
The Frame appears in 'The Kindergarten Guide' by Maria Kraus Boelte and John Kraus, which was probably first published in 1882 by E. Steiger and Company in New York.
Eleonore Heerwart's 'Course in Paperfolding' was first published in Dutch in 1895 then in English by Charles and Dible in London and Glasgow in 1896, contains drawings of two designs that are probably the Frame and the Picture Frame, though neither deign is named.
The Frame also appears in 'Die Frobelschen Beschaftigungen: Das Falten' by Marie Muller-Wunderlich, which was published by Friedrich Brandstetter in Leipzig in 1900.