Collection of 5 Vintage Lantern Images of Qajar Iran: The Royal Palace, Tehran & Isphahan, Circa 1905---
Including Earliest Aerial Image of Tehran we Have Seen
Item Number: 14425
Collection of 5 Vintage Optical Lantern images of Iran circa 1905. 3 1/4" x 4." The images include the Qajar Royal Palace, the royal gardens in Tehran, the Khaju Bridge in Isfahan, and Muslims at prayer in a Persian Mosque. In the first image we see a Persian man in traditional 19th century clothing strolling in the Qajar Royal Palace and gardens. The second image is a very rare aerial view of 19th century Tehran, labeled "the Shah's gardens and the new neighborhoods." Since this image predates airplanes it is an extremely rare find, probably using an aerial balloon. In the third image we see the Khaju Bridge, which is one of the most famous bridges in Isfahan, Iran. It was built by the Persian Safavid king, Shah Abbas II around 1650 C.E., on the foundations of an older bridge. It has 23 arches and is 105 meters long and 14 meters wide. The structure served as both a bridge, and a dam, and public meeting place as it links the Khaju quarter on the north bank with the Zoroastrian quarter across the Zayandeh River. The next image shows a larger gathering of Muslims kneeling at prayer under an archway in a Persian Mosque. The fifth image is the ruins of Persepolis.
These are positives on a glass lantern, Gelatin silver bromide. Magic lanterns, also known as optical lanterns, provided one of the most popular forms of entertainment during their heyday in the 18th and 19th centuries. Using an artificial light source and a combination of lenses, these devices enlarged small photographic transparency images and projected them onto a wall or screen. Three of these images were photographed by Arthur Radiguet of the esteemed "Maison Molteni," famous for its lantern images. The image of the Khaju Bridge was produced by T.H. McAllister, an important New York-based company, known for its high quality lantern images. Scarce and in very good condition.