Holbein, ‘Camera Lucida’, Chamber
Holbein, ‘Camera Lucida’, Chamber

The camera lucida, Latin for “light chamber,” is an instrument used to transfer a view in the world onto a surface or piece of paper; rays of light are reflected by a prism and produce an image, from which a drawing can be made. Patented in 1807 by William Hyde Wollaston, it was an incomparable tool for landscape artists and crucial for the development of photography by Henry Fox Talbot in 1839.
This Holbein Camera Lucida is a state-of-the-art instrument made in Japan; its clamp, telescope tubes, prism, prism holder and nuts are all in extraordinary condition, as is its black case with red velvet interior.