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P. Berville (Paris, France)

Camera lucida.

Additional Title(s):

Transformée en chambre claire universelle

Paris : P. Berville, 18, Rue Lafayette, approximately 1900.
Physical Description:
1 camera lucida : brass ; 26 x 5 x 2 cm, in case 28 x 7 x 3 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Cabinet Z1 3
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Information
Three-Dimensional Artifacts
"A camera lucida basically consists of a prism mounted on an adjustable stand and a drawing-board. The prism has to have one right angle, two of 67.5° and one of 135°. When the stand is adjusted so that the prism half covers the pupil of the eye, the draughtsman using it has the illusion of seeing both the object he wishes to draw, which is reflected through the prism by rays of light, and its outlines on the drawing-board. If paper is placed on the drawing-board the outlines can easily be traced off."--Oxford Art Online. See also: Kemp, Martin. The science of art (1990), pp. 200-201.
Th. Benoist's patent "pour système de chambre claire dite chambre claire universelle" is recorded as brevet no. 286405, March 1, 1899. A number of early twentieth century publication notes that Benoist's device was sold by P. Berville, prominent merchant of scientific instruments at Paris.
The clamp is inscribed: "P.B. Transformée en chambre claire universelle, P. Berville, 18, Rue LaFayette. Paris."
Restricted fragile material. Use requires permission of the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.
Camera lucida, called "chambre claire universelle," with the mark of P. Berville, Paris. The instrument is made of brass components and is enclosed in its original velvet lined morocco case. The device consists of a table clamp and fixing screws, telescoping system with two extending tubes for adjustment and focusing, and a triangular crystal prism with a single coated surface mounted on an adjustable lens holder. It is accompanied by a single small lens; the case includes a slotted reservoir with a capacity for 12 lenses.
Subject Terms:
Artists' tools -- Specimens.
Benoist, Th.
P. Berville (Paris, France)
Optical instruments.
Image-projecting equipment.
Camera lucidas.

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