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2606 Granby Street
Norfolk, VA 23517

Rare Painted Tissue French Stereoscope Cards of Opera "L'Africaine," c.1860s-1870s


Beautiful and rare stereoscope cards with hand painted photographs of opera "L'Africaine." Images in embossed and arched yellow card frames are on layers of semi-transparent tissue which appear black and white until held to the light. When backlit, color appears brilliant. Photographs are by Adolph Block, whose stamp is on each card "Propriété BK Paris." From series "Les Théâtres de Paris."

Total of 11 cards. Labeled with the Act and Scene. It is unusual to find the original cards by Adolph Block, especially a nearly complete set. His cards are from the 1860s to the 1870s. Opera "L'Africaine" or "The African" is by Giacomo Meyerbeer and premiered in Paris on April 28, 1865. 

Card 1: Act 1, Scene III

Card 2: Act 2, Scene II

Card 3: Act 2, Scene IV

Card 4: Act 3, Scene I

Card 5: Act 3, Scene VI

Card 6: Act 4, Scene I

Card 7: Act 4, Scene IV

Card 8: Act 4, Scene IV (A different shot of the scene)

Card 9: Act 4, Scene VI

Card 10: Act 5, Scene I

Card 11: Act 5, Scene IV

Cards were deliberately pierced to enhance lighting, the sun, the moon, and/or jewelry in photographs. Some cracks and punctures to four slides, as follows:

Slide 1 is cracked vertically in the left pane in the front layer of tissue and punctured horizontally in the right pane less than one inch. Card 4 has minor puncture in the bottom of the left pane, less than one centimeter wide. Card 5 is cracked vertically in the left pane in the front layer of tissue and missing some of the paper label in the back. Card 11 has a horizontal puncture in the bottom of the right pane about one centimeter across. 

These cracks and punctures do not seem to inhibit viewing of slides in a stereoscope, however. Some very minor wear consistent with age and use on all cards. Otherwise, these slides are bright and overall are in good condition. 

Each slide measures 3 1/2 H x 7 W x 1/16" D. Slides are incredibly light and weigh 4 oz. 

Inquire to see more images of this set. We also have a set of stereoscope cards by Adolph Block from Giacomo Meyerbeer's opera "L'Africaine."


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