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March 19, 2009


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Claudia Bradby

Amazing and fascinating - what we refer to here in England as a 'folly' - the sheer effort and application required to make it is definitely part of their attraction. Thanks for this post, I really enjoyed it!

Santa Barbara

I wanted to share that I once saw a Stanhope from a collection at a gallery in upstate New York that was amazing, maybe 25 years ago, it was a carved horn, and when you looked through it you you saw a picture of an American Indian on horseback. The man said it was from the 1890's.


My grandmother had Stanhope in her glass curio cabinet. Not sure what child received it in her passing. Always wondered if it was valuable.


Great post even though I was a little confused at first and thought you are talking about jewels. Anyhow great site and good info to know! More conversation materials for me!


I remember handling a Stanhope when I was in elementary school (though I didn't know what it was called at the time).

I don't know if it was an original, or a replica, but I think my experience with that early artifact is what got me interested in memorabilia and later led to my current interest in scrapbooking.

Thanks for posting this, and for bringing back a childhood memory!


When I first started reading this I thought you would be talking about diamonds for some reason. I have never heard of this term before, but I think it is great all the new information I can come up with by surfing the net.

photographer Brighton

Does anyone remember the stereoscopic viewers of the 60's and 70's. Seems to me they were a plastic 20th century take on the same idea, but of course not so aesthetic or desirable. Interesting piece, thanks. P

Shannon Perich, Associate Curator for the Photographic History Collection

Dear Ms. Lee, I’m not sure how much I can tell you without seeing the ring or a photograph of it. I don’t think that you have a Stanhope per se, but rather a piece of photo jewelry. The “AH” is probably the maker’s stamp. It sounds like an interesting family heirloom!

Linda Lee

My father has a brass ring set with blue stone?/cabochon with photograph of nude model copying pose of small figurine set beside her on table. The ring is stamped AH. My father is 79 years old and remembers seeing this ring, which belonged to my grandfather, for thw first time when he was about five. Can you tell me anything about it?


A possible source for the tiny lenses you need to make your own Stanhope jewelry may be Hobby Shops. They specialize in miniaturized versions of many items for models and I have found a similar type of lens for a project I was doing. I'm not sure if it is still too large for your needs but you might something suitable there.


Oooh, those images are quite similar to the ones you used to get from old Cuban Cigar Boxes. Probably from the same era anyway.


Dear Tre: Thank you for your inquiry. I am not aware of anyone manufacturing these small lenses anymore. You might talk to someone at a high quality optics shop that sells microscopes and other specialized lenses to help you find something that you might adapt.

Tre Mullins

I would like to make my own stanhope jewelry. Can you tell me if you know of a manufacturer of the lens or of a like lens that is being used today?


I love stanhopes and wish they were still made - I'd love to make my own. It was interesting to read the background and to read about your fun intern project. Thanks!

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