Peepshow “storm” in FernhurstPress release February 27, 2008 Culture
Recently discovered in a Hampshire attic, nine mid-eighteenth century `peepshows` by Martin Engelbrecht have surfaced in near perfect condition, together with their original oak viewing box.Most people think a peepshow is something you used to find on Brighton pier, a slot machine at a penny-a-go, with a title something like "What the Butler Saw." However, to the cognoscenti, peepshows have a long history, and come into the 'pre-cinematic' collecting category, when for several hundred years optical experiments gave rise to all sorts of interesting devices, such as the camera obscura, various perspective toys, etc. Recently discovered in a Hampshire attic, nine mid-eighteenth century 'peepshows' have surfaced in near perfect condition, together with their original oak viewing box. Each peepshow consists of six engraved scenes, the first five with the central areas carefully excised, so that a perspective view in 3D can be seen through right to the sixth, back scene. The peepshows were manufactured in Augsburg, between about 1740 and 1760, by Martin Engelbrecht, and are in fantastic original condition, hand coloured, and with the original protective paper wrappers. Among the scenes depicted, are an artist's studio, an angling scene, a view of Amsterdam, two different gardens (town and country), and, of course, a view of a Storm at Sea! Peepshows, then, are of considerable interest, not only to pre-cinematic collectors, but to historians of the period, since they give a marvellous three-dimensional picture of scenes of the day.
The peepshows will be offered for sale at John Nicholson's forthcoming auction of books, manuscripts, early photographs, etc., on March 11th, together with about 500 lots of other treasures, ranging from a collection of books on the Arctic and Antarctic, to a huge collection of Marvel & DC Comics; from a collection of captioned, contemporary photos of the Boer War, to a First Edition of C.S.Lewis's 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,' as well as a good selection of eighteenth century and earlier antiquarian literature, fine leather bindings, and 'job lots' of material on specialist subjects.
Viewing is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, March 8th & 9th, 10.00am-4.00pm, Monday, 10th March, 9.00am-5.00pm, and on the sale day, March 11th until 2.00pm, when the sale starts. Why not come and view, and bring something to have valued at the same time? Telephone enquiries: 01428 653727 Book Specialist, Ian Marr. http://www.johnnicholsons.com
John NicholsonJohn Nicholson Auctioneers
✉ sales******************* Reveal...
☎ 01428******** Reveal...