[ artifact, camera lucida ] Brass, late nineteenth century
[ artifact, camera lucida ] Brass, late nineteenth century
[ artifact, camera lucida ] Brass, late nineteenth century
[ artifact, camera lucida ] Brass, late nineteenth century
[ artifact, camera lucida ] Brass, late nineteenth century

[ artifact, camera lucida ] Brass, late nineteenth century

circa 1875. We offer a nice example of a camera lucida, all brass, with a glass prism at the end. Closed, it measures 10 1/2 inches long by roughly 3 inches wide. It expands to 21 inches long by loosening the knurled nuts and pulling each of the two nested brass rods outward. The outer rod is marked internally 'D', and 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 10. This example is unsigned, but finely made. The knurled screws are all in working order, as is the screw mechanism to hold the mechanism to the table. There is also a metal shield for the prism both for protecting it and shutting off one side of the light path. A nice example. Very Good. [28117]


"A camera lucida is an optical device used as a drawing aid by artists and microscopists. The camera lucida performs an optical superimposition of the subject being viewed upon the surface upon which the artist is drawing. The artist sees both scene and drawing surface simultaneously, as in a photographic double exposure. This allows the artist to duplicate key points of the scene on the drawing surface, thus aiding in the accurate rendering of perspective...The camera lucida was patented in 1806 by William Hyde Wollaston. The basic optics were described 200 years earlier by Johannes Kepler in his Dioptrice (1611), but there is no evidence he or his contemporaries constructed a working camera lucida. By the 19th century, Kepler's description had fallen into oblivion, so Wollaston's claim was never challenged. The term "camera lucida" (Latin "well-lit room" as opposed to camera obscura "dark room") is Wollaston's. (cf. Edmund Hoppe, Geschichte der Optik, Leipzig 1926)

While on honeymoon in Italy in 1833, the photographic pioneer William Fox Talbot used a camera lucida as a sketching aid. He later wrote that it was a disappointment with his resulting efforts which encouraged him to seek a means to "cause these natural images to imprint themselves durably"" (wikipedia)

Price: $275.00