Posted 5 years ago
I’ve always wanted an interesting Stanhope to go with my camera collection and finally acquired one. While not in the best condition it’s a nice ‘go with’. Shown here is a 1890s Anheuser-Busch corkscrew knife. Hidden inside is a tiny image of Adolphus Busch (b.1839 ... ironically the year the first commercial photographic process was announced), cofounder of the famous company.
Stanhopes are optical viewers allowing you to see microphotographs. And the images are tiny, barely a couple millimeters in size. A transparency is glued (usually with balsam) to the flat side of a lens. Invented in 1862, Stanhope images were first made using the collodion process. They are very collectable and are mounted in a variety of objects.
The colorful corkscrew knife shown here shows obvious wear but is quite cute. Its blades are marked “KASTOR & CO., OHLIGS GERMANY” which means this is an original as opposed to a later reproduction.
The image of Adolphus Busch is seen by looking into a small eyepiece. (Refer to the arrow pointing to the viewer.) A friend photographed the micro-image with a microscope mounted DSLR. He’s photographed several Stanhope collections and does a great job.