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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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Vintage Unsearched Slides, Films
May 25, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Unsearched Slides, Films
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$304 Bids
Vintage Unsearched, Photographs, Slides, Film
May 25, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Unsearched, Photographs, Slides, Film
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$254 Bids
Vintage Unsearched Film Slides
May 25, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Unsearched Film Slides
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$203 Bids
Large Lot Of Vintage Film Slides
May 25, 10:00 AM MST
Large Lot Of Vintage Film Slides
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
Vintage Kodak portable slide in case
Jun 11, 6:00 PM CDT
Vintage Kodak portable slide in case
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
12 c.1930's Magic Lantern Slides: Car Wrecks
Jun 02, 1:00 PM EDT
12 c.1930's Magic Lantern Slides: Car Wrecks
by Peterborough Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
1950s Projector Slides
Jun 03, 6:00 PM EDT
1950s Projector Slides
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
Projetor de slides da marca "Maison de la Bonne Presse / Paris" Dim. aprox.: 36 x 45 x 16 cm
Jun 03, 7:00 PM WEST
Projetor de slides da marca "Maison de la Bonne Presse / Paris" Dim. aprox.: 36 x 45 x 16 cm
by Palácio do Correio Velho
Est: €100- €200
€1000 Bids
KINEMATOGRAPH / LATERNA MAGICA MIT ZAHLREICHEN SCHIEBEBILDERN UND FIMROLLEN. ERNST PLANCK.
Jun 13, 10:00 AM CEST
KINEMATOGRAPH / LATERNA MAGICA MIT ZAHLREICHEN SCHIEBEBILDERN UND FIMROLLEN. ERNST PLANCK.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Magic Lantern Glass Slides


EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

Lawsons

Lawsons

Palácio do Correio Velho

Palácio do Correio Velho

Auktionshaus Wendl

Auktionshaus Wendl