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Rare early Gettysburg souvenir, “Stanhope Battlefield Bullet”, Pickett’s Charge (SOLD)

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Product Description

This is a very unique Gettysburg souvenir being offered, it is a battlefield bullet which was turned into a “Stanhope”. The process was to take a lead bullet and drill a hole to fit a small lens showing views of the battlefield. When you look into the tiny glass bead towards a light, you can see the views. This example has “Battle of Gettysburg / Pickett’s Charge”. It shows the battlefield along with a monument.

Stanho-scopes (Stanhopes) are optical devices that enable the viewing of micro-photographs without using a microscope. They were invented by René Dagron in 1857. Dagron bypassed the need for an expensive microscope to view the microscopic photographs by attaching the micro-photograph at the end of a modified Stanhope lens.

He called the devices bijoux photo-micro-scopiques or microscopic photo-jewelry. In 1862, Dagron displayed the devices at the Exhibition in London, where he got an "Honorable Mention" and presented them to Queen Victoria. In 1864 Dagron became famous when he produced a stanhope optical viewer which enabled the viewing of a micro-photograph 1 square mm (0.0016 sq in) - equivalent in size to the head of a pin, that included the portraits of 450 people.

These Stanhopes were very popular with veterans returning to visit Gettysburg and at their reunions. The one offered here appears to have been a pulled bullet with the impression of the worm used to dislodge the bullet. These early unique souvenirs are becoming very difficult to find, and quite pricey when you can find one. It comes in the glass top display case pictured.

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$4.50 (Fixed shipping cost)