André Ruiter Stereoscopy

Vues de Guerre

July 28, 2019
Vues de Guerre - B&W photographer and collector of antique photographica
The majority of French stereoviews from the First World War are not rare. They were produced in large numbers and are offered on many online auction sites. Much less is known about the photographers, manufacturers and retailers. That's why simple documents can sometimes reveal valuable information.

Last week I wrote a blog about one of the largest manufacturers of stereoviews, La Stéréoscopie Universelle. Now it's time for a more obscure player. Recently I found a vintage leaflet of Editions Artistiques Stéréoscopiques. This company from Paris was specialised in Vues de Guerre (images of war) and offered 45x107 and 6x13 glass slides. I haven't found any additional information about the company and unfortunately the leaflet is not dated. I assume it was a retailer after the war.

The leaflet contains an overview of all battles of the Western Front and the associated places. It was included with the purchase of stereoviews so the buyer could relate the titles on the glass slides to a specific battle or campaign.

Vues de Guerre
Detail from the leaflet: battlefields and the associated places (author's collection)

Stereoviews were produced on paper and glass. The glass stereoviews were more expensive and particularly popular in France. This retailer explicitly points out that they don't offer paper stereoviews because only glass can give the most realistic viewing experience! I think that's an interesting statement.

Vues de Guerre

The leaflet ends with a disclaimer: it’s forbidden to reproduce the stereoviews on pain of prosecution. It looks like copying images is of all times…

Vues de Guerre

I'm fascinated by French stereoscopy from 1870 to 1930. Especially by the companies that produced and sold the stereoviews with images from the war. This simple document is just a small piece of the puzzle but it helps to get a better understanding.