A Victorian Christmas Box !!!! – “Victorian Gems” launched


VICTORIAN GEMS launched today !

A Victorian Christmas Box !!!!

Very happy to announce that our new Victorian Gems boxes have finally arrived, ready to ship out !

This is something unprecedented in our London Stereoscopic Company activities. For someone who is unfamiliar with the idea of Stereoscopy, it’s the most complete introductory package ever offered – everything your Dad or Mum or best friend needs to get hooked on the truly immersive 3-D experience. For collectors and those who are already hooked – our best customers – everything in this high-quality Victorian Gems box is new.

It contains :

Victoian Gems open set

1) 1 pack of 12 Scenes in Our Village cards – numbers 1 to 12 in T.R. Williams’ unique and beautiful stereoscopic portrait of a Berkshire village and its inhabitants in the 1850s. Ever since I started collecting this extremely rare set of stereo cards, about 40 years ago, I’ve dreamed of sharing them as a high-quality reproduction issue. It’s now five years since we published our book A Village Lost and Found, co-authored by photohistorian Elena Vidal, in which we presented, for the first time ever, every card in the Scenes in Our Village series, and told the stories behind them. For this book, we did some restoration on the scans of the original cards, but kept them ‘real’, with their original imperfections as printed material. For this series of reproduction cards, we went a stage further, and digitally ‘remastered’ them, so they can be viewed in the 21st century in a close-to-perfect state, as we’re sure T.R. Williams would have wished.

To me, this is the most exciting ‘remastered’ set we’ve ever produced, faithfully restoring the original beauty of each photographic scene, with an exact facsimile of the verse on the back of each card, adding another layer of meaning to the view. I’m hoping that we’ll eventually be able reproduce the entire series (about 60 cards) – a tribute to the genius of Thomas Richard Williams, and a captivating glimpse into the lives, hopes and dreams of a tiny simple farming community in another age.

2) 1 pack of 12 Diableries cards – ‘A’ Series, numbers 1 to 12. This new set includes many of the earliest diabolical creations of master sculptors Hennetier and Habert. We published numbers 13-24 first, because, like the Scenes in Our Village cards, our reproduction Diableries cards are optimised for OWL viewing, and this was a more demanding job in the case of these rare and often deteriorating early issues, numbered 1-12. There are 72 scenes in all in the ‘A’ series, and full details can be found in our book Diableries – Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell – co-authored with photohistorian Denis Pellerin, whose pioneering research uncovered a wealth of hidden meanings in these amazing tableaux. These reproduction cards, unlike the illustrations in the book, feature our special ‘Foil Eyes’, which glisten provocatively, giving a sinister 4th dimension to these scenes in Hell, in a similar way to the original French Tissue stereo views, in which the eyes were pierced and covered with red gelatine so they shone like fire when lit from behind.

3) 1 pack of 12 Poor Man’s Picture Gallery cards. These cards are highlights from our book The Poor Man’s Picture Gallery which revealed the many previously unseen connections between Victorian narrative paintings and the popular stereo cards of the day. Each card in this series has a link to the page on the Tate Britain website where the corresponding painting can be viewed. Or you can pay a real visit to the Tate Gallery until November 2015, where, for a limited time only, the classic stereo cards can be viewed alongside the famous original paintings. The cards feature scenes from Shakespeare, historical tableaux and current events such as Derby Day, all specially staged in photographic studios to be captured as stereoscopic views. They were very popular in Queen Victoria’s time.

4) Booklet ! This booklet gives information on the sets of cards, plus a short history of stereo photography, complete with hints on how to take your own 3-D photos, to be viewed in the OWL. It also, importantly, supplies an ISBN number which makes this package eligible to be sold in book shops, where we hope to generate a new awareness of stereoscopy.

5) A dedicated high-quality stereo viewer (our patent ‘OWL’ viewer) is, of course, part of the set, fitting snugly into the OWL’s ‘Nest’, and suitable for viewing ALL stereo cards in the side-by-side ‘Brewster’ format – as well as glass slides and stereo daguerreotypes from the 1850s onwards.

6) A title card to fit in the slot in the front of the OWL’s Nest ! And some spare cards for titling the Nests containing your personal stereo card collections.

Victorian Gems is the perfect Christmas gift for your favourite family member or friend – or maybe just for yourself !



VIDEO AND DETAILED DESCRIPTION HERE More info HERE and www.londonstereo.com

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