Vintage Brass Kaleidoscope, "The Iris" By Van Cort Instruments. Origionally made for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. around 1999. This unique kaleidoscope was new to us as it was not made for the regular retail gallery market only for the Smithsonian Institution.
This kaleidoscope features typical fantastic professional Van Cort Instrument makers fine hand crafting and Lacquered Brass for years of tarnish free Enjoyment. The kaleidoscope itself features a moveable twin Chamber box unique system. the kaleidoscope was fashioned after the Demonstration Eye an instrument used to explain optic principals of the eye. This device dates back to as far back as 1721 when it was described by Christian Wolff in "physica oder Allerhande nutzlicher versuche Experimenta. Optically similar to the camera obscura, it was used to show how the eye produces an inverted image and to demonstrate the effect of lenses on near and farsightedness. these instruments were commonly found in the 18th Century Physics Cabinets and Classrooms. They continued to be sold into the early 20th century. The origional is in the collections of the Smithsonian institutions national museum of American History. The iris stands 8.5 inches tall and is turned from solid brass. Front surface mirrors q ground glass magnifier , optical viewing windows and chamber boxes filled with Van Corts unique hand Lamp worked glass pieces combine for wonderful views. The first fingertip can easily manipulate the interchangeable twin optic boxes. Signed by Van Cort instruments and finished in bright gold plating for long lasting beauty and durability. The origional blue gift box and card featuring most of the information above is all included.
Care instructions State "Wipe dust and fingerprints from the instrument with a soft cloth. Do not use any cleaner as these will mar the finish.
Note this kaleidoscope is concidered a vintage kaleidoscope but was never on display and kept in its origional box after purchasing.The Van Cort Instrument Studio closed in Approximately 2002.