NMS


 

Record

Box camera obscura

< 249 of 2192 > Back

made in London

Box camera obscura
Add to album

A box camera obscura, the precursor of today's photographic camera, is a small portable device for assisting artists to draw landscapes. This wooden example was made in the early 19th century, and retailed by W. & S. Jones, scientific instrument makers based in London.

The view in front of the lens was projected on to the ground glass screen through a mirror held at 45 degrees inside the box. By placing a piece of paper over this, outlines could be drawn. The box has an ivory plaque inscribed 'W. & S. JONES/ 30 HOLBORN/ LONDON'. The mirror is a replacement and it is optically incomplete.

This piece, by the famous London firm of the brothers William and Samuel Jones, would have been sold as an artist's aid for drawing, between 1799 (when their premises moved from no 135 to no 30 Holborn) and 1860 (when their effects were sold at auction). William Jones contributed to the article on the camera obscura (Latin for 'dark room') in Abraham Rees' Cyclopedia in 1879.

Record details

To search on related items, click any underlined text below.


< 249 of 2192 > Back