At the Paris Expo of 1900, the Palais de l'Optique housed the "Great Exposition Refractor," the largest refracting telescope at that time with a 49-inch diameter lens. Due to its extremely large size, the telescope was mounted in a fixed horizontal position. It was not built for genuine scientific use, but as an advertisement tool for the company who made it. Hence, the advertisement postcards depicted what could be seen IF the telescope was mobile -- such as the constellation Sagittarius. In this lithograph card (the only official edition!) printed by Lemercier of Paris, the constellation is imaginatively depicted in Art Nouveau style. The card is unused and in overall near mint condition. There is an artist's signature at the bottom right but I cannot identify who it is. SIZE: about 5.5 by 3.5 inches. Please note: The Palais de l'Optique postcards are rare and I don't use that word lightly. Assuming all 12 signs of the zodiac were produced, I've only found three other sign designs and even those are hard to come by in good condition.
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