Being offered here is one of the rare "tissue" stereoviews, early French, set in a peach colored mount, with intricate drawings with the words "Les Theatres De Paris" at the bottom and B K EDIT in the bottom left corner. The pictures depict two men dueling with the caption "FAUST. Le Duel." It is believed this is a scene from a French production that exemplifies good and evil, and the price that can be paid for power and knowledge.
Stereo view photography became quite a craze at the start of the Victorian era. With travel difficult and time consuming, one could travel and dream about far away places by viewing interesting places in three dimensions, or 3-D, with two pictures side by side, printed on a sturdy mount, then viewed with a stereoscope.
Stereoviews are two pictures that appear identical, however are slightly different. The pictures are taken by the same camera that has two lenses, about 2 1/2" apart, which is the approximate distance between the eyes. When viewed with a stereoviewer the two images blend into one, with the details overlapping, thus giving the impression of being 3-D. The effect is amazing and highly collectible.
While most of these stereo views were made from solid heavy duty type cardboard with the glossy picture affixed to it, for wearability, a much less common type stereoview was the "tissue" version. A "tissue" stereoview was a hand tinted or colored piece of tissue behind the very thin albumen paper print, which was then mounted in special open stereo cards, also known as a "mount." Looking into the viewer at a tissue aimed at some light, the scene then became vivid in color and three dimensional, long before the advent of color photography. As can be seen from the stereo card being offered here, viewing under a light source shows a dramatic transformation. One can only imagine how amusing viewing these were, in a day WAY before the advent of moving pictures.
This is a delightful stereoview that is in mint condition with one slight fracture atop of the first picture that does not go thru the card. There are some small light brown age spots on the back of the tissue, and a few areas of very slight discoloration, but given it's delicate nature and age, I feel it remarkable to be in such fine condition.