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Nachet, Jean Alfred, 1831–1908
Microscope camera lucida.
Paris?, 1880s?
Physical Description:
1 camera lucida : brass, glass ; 4 x 4 x 4 cm, in box 6 cm in diameter x 5 cm in height
Rare Books and Manuscripts
TS513.C2 N3 Flat
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Related Content:
View a description of a similar camera lucida in the Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society
View a description of a similar camera lucida in Dictionnaire encyclopédique et biographique de l'industrie et des arts industriel
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 ... The apparatus has also been adapted for use with a microscope."--Oxford Art Online. See also: Kemp, Martin. The science of art (1990), pp. 200-201.
Restricted fragile material. Use requires permission of the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.
Camera lucida for use as an attachment with a microscope. Though the piece bears no indication of manufacture, it was probably made by Jean Alfred Nachet, in Paris, or by a manufacturer imitating Nachet's design. The collar is intended to slide over the eyepiece (ocular lens) of a standard microscope (a 25 mm tube). Housed in original two-part leather covered box, with cork mount for receiving the device's brass clamp.
A similar camera lucida is described and illustrated in Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society, 1886, page 1057: "Nachet's Camera Lucida. This is now made by M. A. Nachet for use with an inclining microscope when it takes the form of fig. 228. The difference between this and the camera for a vertical microscope is principally that the surfaces of the prism have been cut to the angles necessary to produce an exact coalescence of the images when the body-tube is inclined 45⁰. Instead of the small central prism of the older forms, M. Nachet uses with all his cameras the thin coating of gold suggested by Prof. G. Govi, the reflecting power of which is sufficient to give a clear image of the pencil, while its translucidity allows the object to be seen at the same time." A similar device is also described and illustrated in Dictionnaire encyclopédique et biographique de l'industrie et des arts industriels, v. 2, 1882, pages 537-538.
Subject Terms:
Artists' tools -- Specimens.
Optical instruments.
Image-projecting equipment.
Camera lucidas.

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