French Stereoscopic Viewer with a Collection of Twenty Three Original Glass Slides

A French Stereoscopic Viewer with a Collection of Twenty Three Original Glass Slides
Twelve depicting scenes in the Peking Imperial Palace, Pagoda and Temple with Tibetan Lamas ceremonially dancing and performing rituals
Ten depicting interiors of Pagoda’s and Palaces and one of Kamakunda Japan
Perhaps by Pierre Henry Voland
Circa 1860 - 70
Size: 9.5cm high, 16.5cm wide, 13.5cm deep - 3¾ ins high, 6½ ins wide, 5¼ ins deep
Stereoscopic photography enjoyed great popularity in mid 19th century France. Theories which compared lenses to the human eye led to the invention of stereoscopy; a simple device for taking pictures with two lenses and for viewing them with two eye pieces, thereby creating an illusion of depth. It became a feature of French middle class drawing rooms during the Second Empire and went on enlivening long evenings until the end of the century. Stereoscopy opened peoples minds to a fuller, more accurate knowledge of the world which was destined to systematic photographic coverage.
The stereoscopic effect is produced by two slightly dissimilar photographs taken from view points 10cm to 20cm apart. The illusion of depth does not appear without the addition of a binocular viewing device. Stereoscope in hand, the spectator is cut off from the world in their own silent theatre in front of a stage that reconstitutes the dimensions of the real world. It is hard to imagine the fascination with which stereoscopy gripped the 19th century viewer, but even in today’s image saturated culture the effect is still surprising and quite magical.

French Stereoscopic Viewer with a Collection of Twenty Three Original Glass Slides

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ENQUIRIES

+44 (0) 207 689 7500

+44 (0)7836 684133
+44 (0)7768 236921

enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk