French thaumatrope

Les Trompe-l’Oeil ou les Plaisirs de Jocko. Amusement de Société. France, n.d. (c. 1830).

Orig. box. 67 mm (diameter); 16 circular discs with cords. Hand-coloured etching.

Rare pre-cinema optical game. The term ‚thaumatrope‘ was coined as a transliteration from the Greek words ‚wonder‘ and ‚turn.‘ Cards with different pictures on the front and back sides are turned rapidly to create the illusion of one persistent image. One card depicts a portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte. The lower part of the box is probably not original. Some cords have been renewed.