Fábulas de Esopo (Aesop’s Fables) vintage folding dioramas


Aesop’s Fables, or the Aesopica, is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BCE.

I picked up the following ‘Dioramas Plegables’ (Folding Dioramas) in a small lot of ephemera last year. The dioramas were published in Barcelona, Spain, by Ediciones Barsal. I suppose they might be loosely described as ‘optical toys’. There is no visible publishing date, but two Spanish websites I found dated them between the 1930s and 40s.

The three I have are numbered #7, #13 and #15, and are about the size of a paperback novel when opened. The ‘pop-up’ parts are quite fragile – the poor dog in ‘The Thief and the Dog’ diorama is standing up by virtue of only one leg, and there seems to be a ‘food item’ part missing. The other two are in good condition for their age, and all three come in their original protective envelopes with instructions.


Fábulas de Esopo (Aesop’s Fables) folding dioramas. Ediciones Barsal. Spain.

N° 15. El Leon Rey. The Lion King.

The Lion King.

N° 15 envelope front cover and rear cover with instructions.

N° 13. El Ladron Y El Perro. The Thief and the Dog.

N° 7 and N° 13 envelopes.

N° 7. El Pastor mentiroso. The Lying Pastor.

Dioramas Plegables (Folding Dioramas) range.


And the moral of today’s post?

“Inside small envelopes might be wondrous things; you never know what might pop-up!”

Thanks for looking 🙂