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Last updated 30/4/2024


The Mitre / The Pencil Case
This page is being used to collect information about the history of the papefolding design known as the Mitre and its various variations and developments including the Pencil Case. 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.

The Mitre is developed from a version of the Newspaper Hat, its distinguishing feature being that one of the outside edges is tucked into a pocket at the front and the other behind. However this page also includes one similar design in which both outside edges are tucked into pockets in front (using reverse folds) - see entry for 1939 below.

The Mitre is also found as one of the constituent parts of The Doll.



A design called 'La mitre persane' appears in a list of designs in 'Exercices et Travaux pour les Enfants Selon la Méthode et les Procédés de Pestalozzi et de Froebel' by Fanny and Charles Delon, which was published by Librairie Hachette in Paris in 1873. There is no illustration to aid with identification but it is possible that the design referred to is the Mitre, since the name 'Mitre Persane' is similarly used for the Mitre design in 'L'Annee Preparatoire de Travail Manuel' by M P Martin. This latter book, however, was not published until 1893.



The first indusoutable reference to this design that I know of occurs in 'Des Kindes Erste Beschaftigungsbuch' by E Barth and W Niederley, which was first published in Bielefeld and Leipzig, and the foreword of which is dated October 1876.



Both designs also appear in part two of 'The Kindergarten Guide' by Maria Kraus Boelte and John Kraus, which was probably first published by E. Steiger and Company in New York in 1882. The Mitre is called 'The Purse' in this book.



The'Mitre' appears as 'Einen Generalshut', and 'The Pencil Case' as 'Eine Pennal' in 'Der Kindergarten' by A S Fischer, which was published by Alfred Holder in Wien in 1883.



'Exercises de Travaux Manuels d'apres le journal 'L'Instruction Primaire', a book of folded examples of classwork produced by L'ecole Louis Vauquelin de Rouen in 1886-1887, includes actual examples of Mitres and Pencil Cases folded by pupils at the school. In this instance, one end of the Pencil Cases is closed with a folded lock rather than by using a second Mitre.



Th e Mitre and the Doll both also appear in 'Pleasant Work for Busy Fingers' by Maggie Browne, which was published by Cassell and Company in London in 1891. This book is an English version of 'Des Kindes Erste Beschaftigungsbuch' enhanced by the addition of a few extra designs.



The design also appears, as 'Mitre Persane' (Persian Hat) in 'L'Annee Preparatoire de Travail Manuel'by M P Martin, which was published by Armand Collin & Cie in Paris in 1893.



The Pencil Case also appears 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.



Both the Mitre and the Pencil case appear in 'Guia Practica del Trabajo Manual Educativo' by Ezequiel Solana, which was published by Editorial Magisterio Español in Madrid in 1904.



Estuche para Portaplumas y Lapiceros (Pen and Pencil Case)



As 'Federkasten' in Part 2 'Das Flechten' of 'Die Frobelschen Beschaftigungen' by Marie Muller-Wunderlich, which was published by Friedrich Brandstetter in Leipzig in 1910.



The Pencil Case also appears in 'Häusliche Kleinkunst und Bastelarbeit in Wort und Bild' by Hermann Pfeiffer, which was published by Verlag von Hermann Zieger in Leipzig in 1911.



'More Paper Magic' by Will Blyth, which was published by C Arthur Pearson in London in 1923, show how to add a Mitre to the nose of a Paper Dart as a 'Dart Projector' so that it flies further.



Fun with Paperfolding by Murray and Rigney, which was first published by the Fleming H Revell Company, New York in 1928, uses the Mitre design as a weight for the nose of the Dart.



As 'Mitra' in booklet 1 of 'Trabajos Manuales Salvatella - Plegado de figuras de papel', which were published by Editorial Miguel A Salvatera in Barcelona, pobably in or around 1929.



'El Mundo de Papel' by Dr Nemesio Montero, which was published by G Miranda in Edicions Infancia in Valladolid in 1939, contains a version of the Mitre (in which both flaps are tucked into the central slit on the front) and the Pencil Case.

La mitra


El estuche de lapiceros



As 'Mitra' in 'Una Hoja de Papel' by Lorenzo Herrero, which was published by Miguel A Salvatella in Barcelona in 1952.



The Mitre also appears in 'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956, where it is used as a Nose Cap to weight the tip of the Paper Dart.