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Vintage Stereograph Cards:  Sculptures in Europe, Set3

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I bought a pretty big collection of stereograph cards and am listing them here and on eBay. Check my shop here for availability: http://www.etsy.com/shop/rayela?section_id=5122039 It will take me awhile to get them all listed, so feel free to send me a convo on what else I have. They will ship in a protective sleeve.

Standard size: 7" x 3.5" or 18 x 9 cm.

This listing: Cosmopolitan Series, 558 and 581

Early 1900's.

Text on cards:

581. The Long Corridor, Vatican Library, Rome, Italy.
558. The Gallery of Sculpture, Musee du Luxembourg, Paris, France.

Condition: Poor. Both are damaged so sold at discounted prices.

A note on pricing: I've done some research on the cards and their prices are all over the place. Some individual cards have become highly collectible and are valued in the hundreds of dollars. I am choosing a middle-of-the-road approach and pricing them all at $5 unless I see that they are worth more on other sites.

Shipping is based on a flat rate envelope. If you would like it to go via snail mail, I can send them in a regular envelope and will refund the difference after I print the label. Just specify that when you purchase any stereograph cards. 1st Class Mail in the US is $2.


The following information is taken from the Conexions Website (http://cnx.org/content/m13784/latest/). Visit it for a nice article on the history of stereographs.

Between the 1840s and the 1920s, stereographs served as an important method of entertainment, education, and virtual travel—predecessors to contemporary forms of media such as television and movies. As Burke Long argues, “Mass-produced and relatively cheap, the integrated system of mechanical viewer and photographs became fashionable for classroom pedagogy, tourist mementos, and parlor travel to exotic places of the world” (90).

People viewed stereographs at homes, schools, and churches, gazing at images documenting almost every subject imaginable from astronomy to zoology. According to stereograph collector and historian William Darrah, stereographs were used to teach millions of American children about geography, natural history, and a range of other subejcts (50). Many in the nineteenth century embraced photography as a medium that, unlike other arts such as painting, presented the “truth” through exact rendering of a scene.

Stereographs seemed even more real and more engaging by simulating three dimensions. Oliver Wendell Holmes called stereographs “sun sculptures” and commented, “All pictures in which perspective and light and shade are properly managed, have more or less the effect of solidity; but by this instrument that effect is so heightened as to produce an appearance of reality which cheats the senses with its seeming truth” (16).

The last photo shows a common example of a stereoscope, the machine that was used to view these cards. The image is from http://www.phantomranch.net/3dphotog/3dphotog.htm which also gives instructions on how to make your own 3d photos.

My shop here on Etsy focuses on ethnic textiles (ralli quilts, hand-carved textile stamps, vintage remnants, fabric, molas, embroidery, Afghan kilims and anything fiber I can get my hands on!). I also sew and quilt, so you will find some other funky things I've made, too. Please come visit and if you like all of this: www.rayela.etsy.com.

Website: www.rayela.com.

Free shipping on purchases over $100 in the United States.

Vintage Stereograph Cards: Sculptures in Europe, Set3


  • Vintage item from the 1910s
  • Material: paper
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 922 reviews
  • Favorited by: 2 people