Early Daguerrian Lens by Vincent Chevalier
- Sold for:
- Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2283
- Date / Time :
- May 03, 2005 10:00AM
Early Daguerrian Lens by Vincent Chevalier, brass barrel engraved Daguerreotype, Par Vincent Chevalier, Ing. Optn. Brevete, Quai de l'Horloge 69, Paris, with sliding shutter and flange with seven mounting-holes.
Note: Vincent Chevalier (1771 - 1841) is an important figure in photographic history, the Parisian optician instrumental in bringing together Louis Daguerre and Nicephore Niepce in 1829. Both had been working separately to record images chemically. Daguerre - artist, owner and operator of the Paris Diorama - wanted to fix images formed in the camera obscura, while Niepce had been experimenting since 1813 with the mechanical reproduction of images on pewter plates using sulfur, acid fumes, bitumen and other dangerous and unpredictable materials. On the suggestion of Vincent Chevalier's son, Charles, Daguerre and Niepce began a rocky correspondence leading to an eventual friendship and partnership, which was cut short in 1833 by Niepce's death. However, their brief period working together led to important discoveries for Daguerre, who later recollected: "I contributed a camera, which I modified for his use and which, by extending greater sharpness over the larger field of the image, had much to do with out later success. Certain important modifications which I had applied to the process, added to the further research of M. Niepce, led us to predict a happy conclusion..." Six years later, in 1839, Daguerre perfected the process.
The same year Daguerre designed the first commercial camera, a sliding box built in Paris by Alphonse Giroux and incorporating a 15-inch achromatic lens by Chevalier, like the one here. Vincent Chevalier's name was removed from the firm's lenses after his death in 1841, dating this lens to the three-year period 1839 - 1841 in the very first days of photography.