Jack Johnson Stanhope Viewer
Stanhope viewer with the photographic image of infamous early 20th Century black heavyweight champ Jack Johnson is the first one we've ever seen, or even heard of. Stanhope viewers, invented in France in the 1800s, have long been popular for their religious images. They have a microphotographic lens inside a thimble-sized cylinder, with images visible through a peephole when held up to light. This one was a souvenir made in France, were he fled in 1910 to avoid prison after being railroaded on trumped-up charges of violating the Mann Act. Being victimized by racism in America made Johnson a hero in France, though he eventually returned stateside to do his time. In the photo Johnson wears a suit and hat under the inscription "Jack Johnson, World's Heavyweight Champ." Black and gold viewer is 1 1/2" long, peephole 3/8". Condition is EX with some light tarnishing and pocks on the gold. Rare doesn't begin to describe this curio of the Johsnson saga. We bet you'll never see another one of these.
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