Catalog Archive
Auction 132, Lot 579

"[Lot of 2] Urbs antiqua Palmira sicut stat usque hoc tempo l'Ancienne Ville de Palmira, comme elle subsiste encore [and] Prospectus Ingrussus Templum Solis in Palmira Versus Orientem",

Subject: Syria

Period: 1790 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

See Description

Optical prints (or vue d’optique) were made to be viewed in a special apparatus that provided the viewer with an illusion of depth (early 3-D). The large mirror employed in the viewing machine showed the image reversed so many of these views have the titles and information engraved forward and backwards to facilitate viewing in the machine or by hand. These prints were only produced for a short period of time (1740 to 1790) and then were replaced with the invention of the smaller steroviewer. These views are some of the most distinctive and interesting images of the eighteenth century, and their distinctive engraving style, striking perspective and bright original color makes them as visually delightful as they are historically fascinating.

Two superb optical prints showing the magnificent ruins of the ancient city, Palmyra. The first (15.2 x 10.8"), by George Balthasar Probst, depicts a Panorama of Palmyra. The second (14.6 x 9.6"), by Daumont, illustrates the Temple of the Sun.


Condition: B

Both with some light soil. The second has a stain at upper right.

Estimate: $150 - $200

Sold for: $100

Closed on 6/2/2010