Stereoscopy is a technique for creating the illusion of depth by presenting two images (usually photographs) to the eyes, each one taken from a slightly different perspective. When viewed thru a stereoscope, the scene appears to be three dimensional.
In the mid 1800's, when this creative method of viewing images came to be, it was quite revolutionary! Way before movies, and photographs were a complex affair, stereoviews became souvenirs of travels and special events.
Most were pictures that had been taken then mounted onto cardboard and then inserted into a frame at the end of a viewer, or known as a stereoscope. Tissue views are another type of stereoptic card, which are hard to find, due to their delicate composition. Photographic images were printed on very thin paper, known as tissue paper. These images were then backed with another thin piece of paper that could be tinted, by hand, in colors. When viewing the images without a light source they look 'black and white', however, when viewed thru a strong light source behind the view the colors came thru. Some were pricked or pierced to create the effect of lighted candles or lamps, lights in buildings, the moon, stars, etc. Imagine the delight when held up to the light! (I was TOTALLY DELIGHTED to realize this!)
Several years' ago I had the chance to go to the flea market in Paris, France and picked up several tissue paper stereoptic cards. They're so hard to find, due to their fragility. I'm listing a few for sale, those that are special. If you're the buyer, you're in for a treat.
Being offered is a tissue paper stereocard entitled 'Rome Interieur de St. Pirre" which I'm translating to mean the interior of St. Pierre in Rome, Italy. The little tag added to the card seems to have misspelled Pierre, with the correct wording written with pen on the back.
Appearing to be in sepia tones, when held up to the light one sees hues of yellow and brown, with great detail. They are framed with yellowish-orange delicately embossed cardboard, embossed with B.K. Photos. It measures 6 5/8" by 3 1/4". The subject is a fantastic choice; the depth and height of this church can really be realized when viewed with a stereoscope.
The condition is excellent - there are a few areas of pinpoint discoloration, but no tears, watermarks or pulling away of the layers of the card. Stored in acid free paper has helped to preserve the integrity of this card. The first picture shows the stereoview without light source, while the second shows it under a direct light source.