McAllister dissolving magic lantern slide, painter on mountain c. 1900

$100.00 CAD

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Dissolving view of a man sitting on the side of a mountain, drawing the lake and village far below. When the background moveable slide is pulled out, the view 'dissolves' to him looking back surprised at a man who has suddenly appeared behind him, holding something in his hand.

Hand-painted magic lantern with slide fixed into three-sided wood frame, and a hand movable glass background slide.

Also known as 'slipping slide'.

Stamped on frame.

  Made in Great Britain Exclusively for
McAllister, Mfg. Optician, NEW YORK


 4” x 7” x ⅜”


Dissolving views were a popular type of 19th century magic lantern show exhibiting the gradual transition from one projected image to another. The effect is similar to a dissolve in modern filmmaking. Typical examples had landscapes that dissolved from day to night or from summer to winter. The effect was achieved by aligning the projection of two matching images and slowly diminishing the first image while introducing the second image.[1] The subject and the effect of magic lantern dissolving views is similar to the popular Diorama theatre paintings which originated in Paris in 1822. The terms "dissolving views", "dioramic views", or simply "diorama" were often used interchangeably in 19th century magic lantern playbills.


McALLISTER was a leading American family of optical lantern manufacturers...From 1830 the firm traded under the name John McAllister & Co. and possible that was also the start of their work with magic lanterns. By 1846 they were one of the greatest American dealers in magic lanterns and slides.

From the early 1900s the New York firm gradually concentrated on professional lanterns and moving picture machines.