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Magic Lantern Glass Slides

Magic lantern glass slides were invented in the 17th century as an image projector using photos on sheets of glass. Developed by Moses Holden in 1814, he used it before the invention of photography to illustrate his astronomical lectures. Improvements in photographic reproduction methods and projection illuminants in the years to come increased the magic lantern's popularity.

The majority of lantern slides used black and white positive images. Before the invention of color photography, these images would sometimes be hand colored using transparent oil paints, aniline dyes, or watercolors, then baked in an oven to set the layers.

Magic lantern slides brought about a new way for people to view both commercial and amateur photography. Through the first third of the 20th century, these slides were a popular form of entertainment, which allowed people to show off their photographs to a sizable audience. As film became more popular in the mid-20th century, magic lantern's popularity declined. Though these slides are rarely if ever used today, they are popular at auction, especially when the slides depict important points in history.


Quick Facts

  • In the late 19th century, magic lantern shows were popular, combining projected images, live narration, and music for audiences
  • 29 glass magic lantern slides depicting the Czar of France sold at Christie's London for $4,040 in June of 2009
  • A collection of private glass magic lantern slides depicting the Titanic just prior to its embarkation sold at Christie's London for $4,483 in May of 2006

Recommended Items at Auction

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PICTURE SLIDE VIEWER & WOOD INLAID BOX
Mar 04, 6:00 PM EST
PICTURE SLIDE VIEWER & WOOD INLAID BOX
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$304 Bids
ANTIQUE GERMAN MAGIC LANTERN PROJECTOR WITH SLIDES
Mar 02, 9:00 AM CST
ANTIQUE GERMAN MAGIC LANTERN PROJECTOR WITH SLIDES
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $100- $300
$702 Bids
(97) MAGIC LANTERN GLASS SLIDES, 1.5"H, 5.75"W
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(97) MAGIC LANTERN GLASS SLIDES, 1.5"H, 5.75"W
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
122) MAGIC LANTERN SLIDES, 1.25"x4.5",1.1/8"x41/8"
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
122) MAGIC LANTERN SLIDES, 1.25"x4.5",1.1/8"x41/8"
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
(56) MAGIC LANTERN SLIDES, SOME 4"H, 11.75"W
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(56) MAGIC LANTERN SLIDES, SOME 4"H, 11.75"W
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
(85) MAGIC LANTERN GLASS SLIDES, 1.5/8"H, 6.25"W
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(85) MAGIC LANTERN GLASS SLIDES, 1.5/8"H, 6.25"W
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
(37) EASTMAN DRY PLATE POSITIVE LANTERN SLIDES
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(37) EASTMAN DRY PLATE POSITIVE LANTERN SLIDES
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $200
$800 Bids
(130) MAGIC LANTERN BOXES & SLIDES
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(130) MAGIC LANTERN BOXES & SLIDES
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $200- $400
$1500 Bids
(33) PHOTO DRY PLATE SLIDES VARIOUS SIZES & MAKERS
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(33) PHOTO DRY PLATE SLIDES VARIOUS SIZES & MAKERS
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $60- $100
$400 Bids
(80) MAGIC LANTERN SLIDES, 3 SIZES, MOST 2"H, 7"L
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(80) MAGIC LANTERN SLIDES, 3 SIZES, MOST 2"H, 7"L
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
MAGIC LANTERN AND SLIDES.
Mar 08, 11:00 AM EST
MAGIC LANTERN AND SLIDES.
by Amelia Jeffers
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
EARLY CONICAL FORM MAGIC LANTERN & 14 SLIDES
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
EARLY CONICAL FORM MAGIC LANTERN & 14 SLIDES
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $200
$800 Bids
(2) FRENCH MAGIC LANTERNS, ROTATING GLASS SLIDES
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(2) FRENCH MAGIC LANTERNS, ROTATING GLASS SLIDES
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $400- $600
$3000 Bids
(2) MAGIC LANTERNS, CARL MULLER & DREADNAUGHT
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(2) MAGIC LANTERNS, CARL MULLER & DREADNAUGHT
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $150
$600 Bids
(2) MAGIC LANTERNS, BOXED, SLIDES, SCHONNER, PLANK
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(2) MAGIC LANTERNS, BOXED, SLIDES, SCHONNER, PLANK
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
(3) MAGIC LANTERNS, MAKER UNKNOWN
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(3) MAGIC LANTERNS, MAKER UNKNOWN
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $200
$800 Bids
(20) MAGIC LANTERN WOOD SLIDE HOLDERS & SLIDES
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(20) MAGIC LANTERN WOOD SLIDE HOLDERS & SLIDES
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $150
$600 Bids
(3) MAGIC LANTERN OPERATING KALEIDOSCOPES
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(3) MAGIC LANTERN OPERATING KALEIDOSCOPES
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
(12) MAGIC LANTERN SLIDE HOLDERS, WOOD & METAL
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(12) MAGIC LANTERN SLIDE HOLDERS, WOOD & METAL
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $60- $80
$400 Bids
ERNST PLANK 'GLORIA' MAGIC LANTERN, BOX, SLIDES
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
ERNST PLANK 'GLORIA' MAGIC LANTERN, BOX, SLIDES
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $200- $400
$1500 Bids
(21) MAGIC LANTERN SLIDES, DAMON & PYTHIAS
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(21) MAGIC LANTERN SLIDES, DAMON & PYTHIAS
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $150
$600 Bids
(2) MAGIC LANTERNS, SCHOENNER & PLANK, SLIDES
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(2) MAGIC LANTERNS, SCHOENNER & PLANK, SLIDES
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
(4) MAGIC LANTERNS, UNIDENTIFIED MAKERS
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(4) MAGIC LANTERNS, UNIDENTIFIED MAKERS
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $200
$800 Bids
(4) MAGIC LANTERNS, ERNST PLANK, JEAN SCHOENNER
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
(4) MAGIC LANTERNS, ERNST PLANK, JEAN SCHOENNER
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $250
$800 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Magic Lantern Glass Slides


Austin Auction Gallery

Austin Auction Gallery

Auction Team Breker

Auction Team Breker

TimeLine Auctions

TimeLine Auctions

Nate D Sanders Auctions

Nate D Sanders Auctions