QUEEN WILHELMINA SOUVENIRS WITH A STANHOPE LENS
Stanhopes or Stanho-scopes are optical devices that enable the viewing of microphotographs without using a microscope. They were invented by René Dagron in 1857. Dagron bypassed the need for an expensive microscope to view the microscopic photographs by attaching the microphotograph at the end of a modified Stanhope lens. He called the devices microscopic photo-jewelry. In 1862, Dagron displayed the devices at the Exhibition in London, where he got an “Honourable Mention” and presented them to Queen Victoria.
The sectioned lens could magnify the microphotograph three hundred times. The modified Stanhope lens was small enough to be mounted in all manner of miniature artifacts such as rings, ivory miniatures, wooden toys etc.
The success of his viewers enabled Dagron to purpose-build a factory dedicated to their production. As of June 1859, Dagron’s factory was manufacturing the stanhopes, mounted in jewellery and souvenirs. In 1860 Dagron obtained the patent for his viewers under the title Bijoux Photomicroscopiques.
In 1972 the factory, run by Roger Remond, produced the last stanhope lens made by the traditional methods.
- wooden cigarette holder with stanope lens showing a photo of Queen Wilhelmina with baby Juliana 1909.