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Carpenter & Westley.

Camera lucida.

London, late 19th century.
Physical Description:
1 camera lucida : brass ; 21 x 5 x 2 cm (unextended)
Rare Books and Manuscripts
In Process
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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.
The firm of Carpenter & Westley, founded by Philip Carpenter (1776-1833), was a major manufacturer of optical and scientific instruments, at London. From 1817, they manufactured the kaleidoscope patented by David Brewster. The also developed an important plate printing technique for manufacture of magic lantern slides. The firm operated at 24 Regent Street from 1835 to 1914.
The top of the case bears the initials G.C.G. on a small silver plaque. This may indicate ownership by George C. Griffiths (1852-1924), lepidopterist and president of the Bristol Naturalists Society (1892-1894).
The clamp is inscribed: "Carpenter & Westley, 24 Regent St., London."
Restricted fragile material. Use requires permission of the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.
Camera lucida manufactured by the firm of Carpenter & Westley. The instrument is made in brass, with a simple C-clamp, single-extension arm, and mounted prism. The size of the device is smaller than common 19th-century camera lucidas. Housed in original purple case, lined in velvet and silk.
Subject Terms:
Artists' tools -- Specimens.
Carpenter & Westley.
Optical instruments.
Image-projecting equipment.
Camera lucidas.
Griffiths, George C., 1852-1924, former owner.

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