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Paper peepshow - [Intérieur d' Eglise]

[Intérieur d' Eglise]

  • Object:

    Paper peepshow

  • Place of origin:

    France (published)

  • Date:

    ca. 1825 (published)

  • 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 20A

  • Gallery location:

    National Art Library

This paper peepshow is another version of Optique No. 2, Intérieur d'Eglise, also in the collection (Gestetner 20). Compared to Optique No. 2, this one does not show the figures on the third cut-out panel, although this might due to historic damage. It also does not have the set of six extra cut-out images showing the Coronation of Charles X, for possible attachment to the panels (see Gestetner 20). Gestetner 21 and Gestetner 83 have the same front-face image, but they both show the Coronation of Charles X in Rheims Cathedral. However, the building on the front-face in this paper peepshow does not resemble Rheims Cathedral, and it is not clear if it intends to represent a specific building or a generic church.

Optiques’ is the French name for paper peepshows, and between ca. 1825 and ca. 1833 ‘optiques’ numbered 1 to 13 were published. As they share many physical characteristics, it is possible that they were printed by the same publisher.

The cut-out panels in this paper peepshow are rather simplistic. As a result, the effective illusion of depth is created more by the physical distance between the peep-hole and the back panel, and the strong perspective in the representation of the apse on the back panel.

Physical description

Accordion-style paper peepshow of the interior of a church.

4 cut-out panels. 1 peep-hole. Hand-coloured etching. Extends to approximately 46.5 cm.

Front-face: overlaid with maroon paper, the West front of the building with strolling pedestrians and two beggars on the left. The peep-hole consists of the doorway in the centre.

Panel 1: a man sitting in the nave next to a holy water stoop.

Panel 2: a crippled man with a crutch in the nave.

Panel 3 and 4: church columns in the nave; on Panel 3 a part of the panel appears to have been torn away.

Back panel: the choir and the apse.

Place of Origin

France (published)


ca. 1825 (published)


Height: 14.2 cm, :, Width: 12 cm, Length: 46.5 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

[Intérieur d' Eglise], 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. 20A.




National Art Library; Optical toys; Paper Peepshow


National Art Library

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