British photographic history

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I am looking for any information on this stereo view, a street telescope, View Saturn and Jupiter! No information on the back. I have no Idea about the origin, England, France, Italy?

Does anyone recognize this image or telescope?

many thanks in advance,


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Comment by Jose Calvelo on November 4, 2021 at 13:09

A little late proposal: the previous comments are quite correct. I have a stereoscopic view of the same telescope that was rented for a few moments to Parisians curious about astronomy. This instrument, belonging to a certain "Monsieur Rigal", was, at the end of the 1850s and beginning of 1860s, generally based at the place de la Concorde in Paris. The urban environment is very easily recognizable on the view. I wrote a quick review of the image in my possession (whose handwritten title is: "Ministère de la Marine et place de la Concorde à Paris") for the stereoscopy website, which federates several public and private collections.
You can read it here (in French) :,12659-0
I hope this is useful to you.

Comment by Leonard A. Walle on September 23, 2019 at 19:43

I have this stereoview in my 19th century astro photo collection along with a companion view that has a similar sign which mentions the Sun rather than Saturn and Jupiter. On the back of the second view hand written in ink in with what appears to be early script is "Ministere de la Marine Paris Paris" 

Comment by Jonathan Dore on September 23, 2019 at 13:37

Well, since the hoarding is in French I assume the photograph is French, which means it's very likely in Paris, perhaps somewhere on the Terrasse du Bord de l'Eau along the southern edge of the Jardins des Tuileries, which has balustrades that match those in the photo and is a likely sort of location for an activity of this sort. (Someone with detailed knowledge of 19th century Paris might be able to identify the exact location from the buildings in the background.) Of course the strangest thing about this photo is the idea that anyone would be able to get a worthwhile view of Saturn and Jupiter in broad daylight.

Comment by Steve Edwards on September 23, 2019 at 10:03

It's in French and English, which is a bit of a clue. I'd say Paris. Contact a historian of science. someone will know about popular astronomy. You could try Simon Schaffer at Cambridge.

Comment by Steven F. Joseph on September 23, 2019 at 7:36
This is a telescope made by Cauche, an optician in Paris. He was a pioneer in photographic lens-making in 1839. By the 1850s he was creating instruments for astronomical observation, including for the Paris Observatory. This SV dates to about 1860.

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