Regency ‘Hold-to-Light’ Transparency Stirling Castle From Bannockburn

Regency ‘Hold-to-Light’ Transparency Stirling Castle From Bannockburn

Code: 11159


H: 20.7cm (8.1")W: 26cm (10.2")


"Stirling Castle From The Bannockburn Road”
A Scarce Regency ‘Transparency’ or ‘Hold-to-Light’

Layered papercuts beneath white cotton voil with pencil drawing to the underside
Manuscript title in ink verso
English or Scottish 
Circa 1820

20.7 cm x 26 cm

These types of image became popular towards the end of the Eighteenth century as entertainments which provided a fascinating effect to entrance viewers. They were sometimes placed in small, glazed wooden frames and passed around in the evenings to be looked at in front of candlelight with each spellbound viewer holding them in turn. Alternatively they could be placed in windows, with a light source behind, so that passers-by could see them from the outside.

Some transparencies were issued by print publishers and could be completed with various areas being stopped out with coloured varnishes. Sometimes, as here, they were made entirely by hand from various overlays of paper-cut to create depths of tone which were visible when back-lit. This type of work was generally produced by the lady of the house or her daughters.

The example here has around four overlaid templates beneath a layer of fine voil with pencil drawing on the underside of it, giving the effect of a beautiful monochrome painted moonlit nocturne of 'Stirling Castle', as if painted ‘en grisaille’.