Early Victorian Carved Ivory Stanhopes Binocular Fob
John Benjamin Dancer invented microphotographs in 1851, creating photographs which measured about 3 square millimeters in area. Unfortunately, a microscope was needed to view the microphotographs, which at the time, was an expensive instrument. Stanhopes or Stanho-scopes are optical devices that enabled you to view microphotographs without using a microscope. Invented by Rene Dagron in 1857, the device bypassed the need for an expensive microscope by attaching a microphotograph at the end of a modified Stanhope lens. The modified Stanhope lens was small enough to be mounting in miniature artifacts such as rings, ivory miniatures and wooden toys.
This ivory fob/charm is a very special piece which incorporates the Stanhopes lens in a beautiful design. From the early Victorian (ca1860) era, the hand carved piece is wonderfully detailed and portrays the shape of a pair of binoculars. Two Stanhopes lens' can be found at the ocular lens and the other end is open. If you look carefully into each Stanhopes lens, you can view 6 different black and white microphotographs. The 2 movable binocular arms are held together within a brass frame. The ivory binoculars would look fabulous hanging from a long gold chain and would make a wonderful addition to any collection!
Measurements: The ivory fob/charm measures approximately 1" tall and 7/8" at the widest point and a little less than 3/8" at the thickest point.
Condition: The overall condition of the ivory fob/charm is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the carved ivory fob and the Stanhopes looking device is in good working condition.