The Beginnings of Animation

Le Phénakisticope.

Paris: Chez Alph. Giroux et Cie, [circa 1835].

Price: $4,500.00

About the item

11 (of 12?) hand colored discs [lacking number 6], paper board disk with eye slits, and wooden framed mirror. Without the wooden handle with brass fitting. The Beginnings of Animation. Original patterned paper box with lithographed onlay on upper cover. Box worn and soiled.

Item #352351

Among the earliest animation devices, it was first introduced in 1832 by Joseph Plateau and marketed in Paris by Giroux as early as 1833 as a boxed set like the present. A wooden handle with a brass peg would be fitted first with the larger plain disc with eye slits, followed by one of the hand colored animation discs. Arrayed radially around the disc's center is a series of pictures showing sequential phases of the animation. Standing in front of a mirror (one included in this set) the discs would be spun and the viewer would look through the slits into the mirror to see the reflection of the animation. Included among the discs present are man with bat and ball, a blacksmith hammering a piece of hot metal with a drop forge, two men playing leap frog, a woman with a cornucopia dancing, a man walking a tightrope, a man playing a cello, a saw cutting wood, a crank turning a windmill, as well as several geometric patterns. Scarce, particularly in the original box.