The Diorama Images

Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, inventor of the first successful commercial photographic process, the daguerreotype, popularized the Diorama theater in the first half of the 19th century. He took the ancient concept of the peep show and raised it to incredible heights of sophistication. Daguerre made large paintings of scenes and displayed they in elaborate layered stage settings along with real objects. The theater was equipped with windows and louvers that could be opened and closed to front light and back light the images. This caused transparent areas of the scene to change and new images to appear. Most often these were day to night transformations, (See the toy Polyrama Panoptique on our peepshow page.) The Paris Diorama opened in 1822 and the London Diorama in 1823.

On the right is a hand colored print of the Paris Diorama. It dates from the early 1820s and has the added attraction of being a Zograscope view or vue d’optique print. The title at the top of the print is printed in reverse so that it would read correctly in the viewer's mirror.

We have a Zograscope viewer in our optical toy collection.

An enlargement of the pediment of the building with the Diorama name.

The print on the right is a hand colored engraving of the building that housed Daguerre's London Diorama in Regent's Square which opened in 1823. The print dates from 1839 and is after a drawing by H. Shepherd.

An enlargement of the pediment of the building with the Diorama name.

Optical Toys in our collection *Expanded and updated 10/1004
Persistence of Vision Toys
- The Thaumatrope
- The Zoetrope
- The Praxinoscope
- The Phenakistoscope
- Flip Books
Our Peepshow Toys
- Diorama Prints < You are Here
- Peepshow Changing Views
- Peepshow images
Our Zograscope Viewer
Our Magic Lanterns
- Magic Lantern Graphics
- Magic Lantern Slides

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**NOTE** All items on the Collection of Collections web site are in our private collection and are NOT for sale. From time to time duplicate items from our collection will be offered for sale in the Do You Remember This? shop on the GoAntiques cyber mall. Visit the Do You Remember This? inventory page for photographica and toaster related collectibles.

Please feel free to write us if you want to chat or share information about areas we collect but we will NOT give appraisals.

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Updated on 7/2003