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Kaleidoscope, Cigar Box, Image Wheel

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This kaleidoscope, handcrafted by artisan/seller, is one of a limited edition series crafted using empty (used) cigar boxes and copper tubing to make a body for an image wheel kaleidoscope. This is a "Oliva - Serie O" box from Nicaragua. The box is approximately 5 3/4" by 6 1/2", by approximately 2” tall. The overall kaleidoscope measures approximately 9” long.

The image wheel is approximately 2 3/4” in diameter and is filled with a mixture of brightly colored, various shaped glass gems and other objects.

The mirror assembly inside the copper tubing uses front-surface mirrors (see explanation below). The image wheel, when spun on the axle, while one views through the eye hole, provides an always-changing view of the colorful contents in the image cell.

The cigar box is sealed to protect the mirror assembly.

When an ordinary mirror is used in a kaleidoscope, light must pass through a layer of glass before being reflected by the silvering on the back of the mirror. Since glass is not perfectly clear or perfectly flat, some attenuation of the image results, along with “ghost images” caused by reflection off of the surface of the glass. These undesirable effects are compounded in a kaleidoscope mirror assembly and cause the viewing field’s outermost edges to dim, blur, and become full of interference lines.

By using aluminized front surface mirrors these problems are solved. Front surface mirror is made by vacuum depositing a highly reflective aluminum surface coating onto the FRONT of the glass. The light then reflects off the aluminized coating and does not pass through the glass. The high reflectivity (approximately 95%) and the absence of ghost images permits a brilliant image which remains clear and bright throughout the viewing field. The resulting “hall of mirrors” effect results in images and colors that are much sharper and more intense that would be possible using ordinary mirrors.

A unique kaleidoscope that is a great conversation piece and will bring enjoyment to viewers for many hours.

Kaleidoscope, Cigar Box, Image Wheel


  • Handmade item
  • Materials: cigar box, copper pipe, front surface mirror, brass and glass image cell
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 484 reviews
  • Favorited by: 1 person