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  • Writer's pictureelliotmelamed

Interesting find this week

We were contacted by one of our estate clients this week who found these interesting trinkets in a desk drawer while clearing out his mom’s estate. They look like tiny chess pieces and seemed to be fashioned from either bone or ivory. Only about .75 of an inch high. He was wondering what they were and if they had any value. They are actually known as monocular Stanhope viewers and were first developed in the late 1850’s in France. This was an ingenious little invention that was actually a micro picture viewer. A tiny image was imbedded within, unreadable to the naked eye, but magnified by use of a magnifying lens inside. These became the rage all over Europe and by the end of the 1800’s they were built into all kinds of objects - pin holders, pens, charm attachments for bracelets and watch fobs and many others. Very well collected to this day!

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