"About 1,500 paper-cuts of all sizes still exist to this day - primitive figures and simple tableaux as well as more ornamental, sophisticated cuttings. They belong to a world of their own, but they all have their roots in precisely the same rich, widely embracing creative imagination which in the nineteenth century revolutionized world literature with a long series of fairy-tales told for children and for the child in every adult. This is why Andersen's many paper-cuts cannot be dismissed, as they often have been in Andersen research, as mere diversions and little games, or just be regarded as funny, entertaining illustrations of what is really at stake and essential: Andersen's fairy-tale world in writing."
Nevertheless it was a joy for Andersen himself and quite an experience for the children around the table, when he brought out his scissors and improvised his figures, motives, tableaux, and patterns, telling at the same time his unruly and strange stories.
Of course, a lot of the paper cuts belonging to The Royal Library have been previously published in many different connections. For the first time this on line publication shows all paper cuts in accordance with the simple principle of showing them in the order in which they appear in the different collections