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Negretti & Zambra

Stereographoscope : with stereoscopic views of European cities.

Additional Title(s):

Stereo graphoscope


London, ca. 1875.
Physical Description:
1 stereographoscope : wood, brass, glass, and bone ; 40 cm long x 24 cm wide x 28 cm tall (open), 40 cm long x 24 cm wide x 11 cm tall (folded) and 40 stereoscopic photographs ; each 9 x 17 cm, in box 12 x 37 x 21 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
In Process
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Three-Dimensional Artifacts
Restricted fragile material. Use requires permission of the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.
Stereographoscope viewer sold by the firm of Negretti & Zambra, London, approximately 1875. The device enables two methods for viewing photographs, depending on which of the lenses are used. The stereo lenses allow the viewer to function as a stereoscope; used in combination with stereoscopic images, these lenses provide the effect of three-dimensionality. Alternatively, the stereo lenses can be hinged to lie flat when not in use, and a graphoscope lens can be rotated to the viewing position. The graphoscope lens serves to magnify any image placed on the photograph holder at the rear of the viewing platform. The adjustable photograph holder includes a pane of frosted glass, so that the viewer can also be used with stereoscopic transparencies. Multiple parts of the device are hinged so that it may be set at varying viewing angles or folded flat when not in use.
The present instrument is advertised in Negretti & Zambra's encyclopaedic illustrated and descriptive reference catalogue ... (ca. 1878) as items 1204-1207 (page 261). The device comes in various sizes, ranging in price from £1/10/0 (for the "Piccolo") to £7/7/0 (for the extra large). The device is described under the heading: "Negretti and Zambra's graphoscope, for viewing photographs, drawings, and pictures of every kind, as constructed and patented by its inventor, Mr. C.J. Rowsell, and shown in class 'Scientific Inventions' at the International Exhibition (1871)." Rowsell patented the graphoscope in 1864.
The viewer is accompanied by a set of 40 stereoscopic slides, housed in a contemporary mahogany box, lined in blue velvet, with brass handle, clasps, and lock. The slides depicts views of European cities commonly visited on a Grand Tour. The slides comprise: La grosse Tour du château de Windsor (no. 909) -- Calton Hill & Princes Street, Edinburgh -- Paris, Palais de Justice -- St. Gervais, Paris -- Place de la Concorde, Paris -- Bourse, Paris -- Panorama of Paris (three different views) -- Statue Louis XIII, Paris -- Pont de St-Cloud (Paris) -- View on the Seine, Paris (no. 220) -- Pont Neuf à Paris -- Château de Chenonceau -- Château de Maintenon -- Market place, Rouen -- Gare de l'Est, Paris -- St Marie Majeure, à Rome -- Colonne et forum de Trajan (Rome) -- Fontaine, Place St Pierre, Rome -- Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome -- Roman Forum (2) -- Santa Maria della Salute, Venice -- St Mark's Basilica, Venice -- Bridge of Sighs, Venice -- Venice (2) -- St Mark's Campanile, Venice -- The Fountain of the Fork, Boboli Gardens, Florence -- Florence -- Milan -- Palais de Justice, Padoue, coté de nord -- Le Canon l'Empereur et la porte Baravidski, à Moscou (no. 5121) -- Vue prise de la Porte-Sainte, à Moscou (no. 5104) -- Le musée de l'Ermitage à Saint-Pétersbourg (no. 5019) -- Grande cascade de l'ile Olga, Saint-Pétersbourg (no. 5080) -- Unidentified city, riverbank view -- Unidentified port city.
Many of the slides are clearly of French manufacture, with printed captions in French. Hand-written labels are in a mixture of English and French. Many were likely produced by Claude-Marie Ferrier, or his partner firms Ferrier père, fils et Soulier and (after 1864) Ferrier P. & F. & Soulier, I. Lévy. The slides produced by Ferrier and his colleagues were commonly regarded as the finest produced in Europe. See: Hannavy, John. Encyclopedia of nineteenth-century photograph (2008), p. 850-852.
Subject Terms:
France -- Pictorial works.
Grand tours (Education)
Great Britain -- Pictorial works.
Italy -- Pictorial works.
Russia -- Pictorial works.
Optical instruments.
Stereoscopic photographs.
Rowsell, Charles John, 1802-1882.
Ferrier, Claude Marie, 1811-1889.
Soulier, Charles, approximately 1840-approximately 1876.
IIIF Manifest:

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