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Paper peepshow - [Teleorama]


  • Object:

    Paper peepshow

  • Place of origin:

    Austria (published)

  • Date:

    ca. 1825 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Müller, Heinrich Friedrich (publisher)

  • Credit Line:

    Accepted under the Cultural Gifts Scheme by HM Government from the collections of Jacqueline and Jonathan Gestetner and allocated to the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2016.

  • Museum number:

    Gestetner 2

  • Gallery location:

    National Art Library

There is little information on the publication details of this paper peepshow. The large and irregular peep-hole and the trees surrounding it, however, is similar in style to what was found in works by the German art and book seller Heinrich Friedrich Müller.
Müller published the first recorded paper peepshow ca. 1825, and named it Teleorama No. 1 (see Gestetner 1), coining the name for his product by combining the Greek tele (at a distance) and orama (a view). The number appended to the name would indicate that he had prepared a whole series of these optical toys. His concept owes much to 18th–century optical curios, such as the cosmoramas which were built into gallery walls or the cumbersome boîtes d’optique, which were large, wooden boxes with multiple scenes. In contrast to their predecessors, Műller’s teleoramas were small and primarily constructed from paper and cloth.

Physical description

Accordion-style paper peepshow with a mixture of rural and urban activity.

5 cut-out panels. Hand-coloured lithograph. In a slipcase. Expands to approximately 52cm.
Slipcase: marble pattern board.

Front-face: a window with Gothic tracery surrounded by trees. The peep-hole consists of a large, irregular opening in the window.

Panel 1: two women reading on the left and a peasant woman with a basket on her head on the right.

Panel 2: a house on the left, and a man with a guitar looking at the house.

Panel 3: a huntsman on the left aiming his gun at two ducks on the right.

Panel 4: a bakery on the left with the baker seated outside and a palace on the right with a sentry at his sentry-box; a couple on either side.

Panel 5: a peacock on a perch with a monkey on the left and a garden and a house on the right; ducks and a swan swimming on a pond.

Back panel: urban scene of a wide street, tall buildings and people strolling.

Place of Origin

Austria (published)


ca. 1825 (published)


Müller, Heinrich Friedrich (publisher)


Height: 13.5 cm, Width: 10.5 cm, Length: 52 cm fully extended

Object history note

Part of the Jacqueline and Jonathan Gestetner Collection, collected over 30 years and given to the V&A Museum through the government's Cultural Gift Scheme, 2016.

Descriptive line

[Teleorama], Müller, Heinrich Friedrich, ca.1825

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

R. Hyde, Paper Peepshows. The Jacqueline and Jonathan Gestetner Collection (Woodbridge: The Antique Collectors' Club, 2015), cat. 2.




National Art Library; Optical toys; Paper Peepshow


National Art Library

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