In an earlier post about La Stereoscopie Universelle I wrote about its link to SDV, the seller service of the French veterans organisation U.N.C. My new stereoviews show the tight relationship between LSU and SDV. The slides are packaged in original LSU boxes and some contain both a LSU number and an alternative SDV number. I relied on the major effort of The Great War in 3D who indexed the SDV slides. I was able to link most of them to SDV based on their list.
SDV slides were sold in series of 10. Each serie had a unique number and the name of the campaign. My collection contains the first two series, 0 and 1, with the campaign name 'Yser'. The slides show images of the battlefields in Flanders, Belgium. The numbers run from 0 to 19 and slide 10 is missing from the set.
The next set contains slides from serie 11 with the name 'Somme'. The slide numbers run from 110 to 119 and number 115 is missing. They show images of the Battle of the Somme in Northwest France. The haunting image of French soldiers wearing gas masks in the destroyed town of Roye is impressive. For me, it symbolises the horrors of gas warfare which is connected to the First World War. It has become one of my most cherished stereoviews.
Images from other series:
The stereoscope was part of the same acquisition and is a compact and simple model for viewing 45x107 glass slides. It has some minor scratches on the wood but the lenses and focussing mechanism are in excellent condition. The device doesn't contain a label from the manufacturer. On the web I've seen an identical model with the Unis France label, so I assume it's made by Mattey from Paris.