21 March 2020

A very decorative Stereoscope

Category: Stereoscopes
A very decorative Stereoscope - Black & White Photography and Stereoscopy Blog

A table top stereoscope for glass and paper stereoviews in the 8,2x17cm format. It's beautifully decorated with a mother of pearl inlay of floral and butterfly motifs.

It’s a revolving stereoscope with chain mechanism like the Mattey stereoscope. The design is based on a patent of Alexander Beckers from New York. In France this type of stereoscope is therefore also known as Stéréoscope Américain.

The device contains no traces of a manufacturer, which is not uncommon for stereoscopes from France. Given the supported 8,2x17cm format, the decorations and mechanism, this device was probably produced somewhere between 1860 and 1890. Its design is modest. The lenses can't be focused and the distance between the lenses is not adjustable. It can hold 50 stereoviews but unlike the Mattey, the chain with cardholders can't be removed from the device to change the slides or cards.

Stereoscope with a mother of pearl inlay of floral and butterfly motifs

This stereoscope is special for its beautiful mother of pearl decorations. Floral and butterfly motifs are visible on front, both sides and on top of the device. Mother of pearl refracts light in vivid rainbow hues and gives the stereoscope a luxurious appearance.

Stereoscope with a mother of pearl inlay of floral and butterfly motifs

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References:

  • Stereoscopes: the first one hundred years, Paul Wing, 1996