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Using optics to explain how people see ghosts

BROWN, J.H.
Brown's kleurvisioenen met een woord ter aanwijzing en verklaring.
Leeuwarden, Hugo Suringar, [1866]. 4to. With 16 numbered lithographed plates (13 hand-coloured) lithographed by Morriën & Amand, Amsterdam. Original illustrated green cloth-backed boards, flyleaves with publishers advertisements.
€ 1,750
Rare first edition of the Dutch translation of J.H. Brown's Spectropia, or surprising spectral illusions (1864), using the 19th-century knowledge of optics to explain how people see ghosts. A second edition was published ca. 1870.
As described in the (original) introduction: " To see the spectres, it is only necessary to look steadily at the dot, or asterisk, which is to be found on each of the plates, for about a quarter of a minute,.. Then turning the eyes to the ceiling… of a darkened room (not totally dark), and looking rather steadily at any one point, the spectre will soon being to make its appearance, increasing in intensity, and then gradually vanishing, to reappear and vanish again."
Some occasional spots, book block nearly detached and wrappers slightly soiled and rubbed. Good copy.
Landwehr, Plezier met papier 315; cf. NCC (5 copies of 2nd edition).
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Art & architecture  >  Illustrated Works & Print Series
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