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Translation from the Hauch catalogue

The Moisse Fantascope and slides found a new permanent home and resides in the Qatar International Media Museum / IMM - QMA Qatar.

Qatar's International Media Museum
*'plans scrapped'*

 © The Hauchs' physiske cabinet in Denmark         Voltaire in Megascope


Opaque phantasmagoria projection accessories, as used and explained in A night in the graveyard (part I & II) where mostly frightening subjects or used in a suchlike way.

For this page, I'm again most thankfull to
The Hauch's Physiske Cabinet in Denmark, Sorø & Mr. Jørgen From Andersen for allowing permission for use of their important phantasmagoria collection on VISUAL MEDIA. All images used from others will be properly credited and are copyright protected property of the owner.

In the
Eleventh Instrument, the principle of opaque projection is described in the translation of the Hauch catalogue.
For more information about Opaque phantasmagoria projection techniques (two pages) follow the latter link. {see Hauch Slides}

The Fantascope is currently on display at the  Cinémathèque Française in the permanent exhibition 'Passion Cinema'.

Fantascope & accessories was on display in  Lanterne Magique et Film Peint a temporally exhibition organized by the Cinémathèque Française and Museo Nazionale Del Cinema.  

Eleventh Instrument. Click image to see more fantascope prints

ABC (plate35, fig1), see image above, depicts the lower part and a piece of the front part of a box, very similar compared with the box of the previous instrument, illustrated on the right.

In the front side a tube HI is placed in which to other tubes IK and KL can be slipped in and out. Inside these two latter tubes two convex glasses are installed, namely in tube IK near I and at the end of tube KL near L. This is illustrated in fig.3 (mouve mouse over image to see accessories)

These glasses are less convex compared with the lenses of the previous instrument in such a manner that their joint focus is situated approximately in the centre of the box. Close behind this spot the object that need to be represented is hanged, upside down, on a stand as seen in portrait D.

The latter is illuminated as strong as possible with the aid of the argand lamp (EF) that we know from the previous instrument, equipped with the parabolic mirror. (see plate 35, fig2) The lamp is placed immediately behind the front side BC, next to the opening in which tube HI is situated.

   © The Hauchs' physiske cabinet in Denmark

The Hauchs' physiske cabinet in Denmark


Because the illuminated object (D) is situated very near the joint focus of the lenses I and L, the light rays reflected by the object shall be broken in the same way as seen in the previous instrument –after going through the lenses H and L in the tube.

This means a reversed image of the upside down hanged object will originate at a certain distance away from the instrument, bigger or smaller depending on the distance of the object to the focus of the lenses. This depends also on the distance between the movable glasses (lenses) and their position in the tube –deep or less deep in tube HI.

Find a book on Phantasmagoria Projection techniques

Read further on the Hauch opaque projection accessories or jump to other examples of the projection of opaque objects in color

Click here to see and read about military use of the Phantasmagoria during the tumultuous days of the French Revolution

Seen in Hauch's physiske cabinet in denmark & other sources

Visit after this page Phantasmagoria slides Page I & Page II


The size of the image is, again, dependent on the distant in such a way that the size is in proportion to the distance of the lenses and object D. In this way, the produced reversed image of the upside down hanged object showing an upright image can be –as seen in the previous instrument – received on a screen.

Or, in this case even better, on smoke when the object is in relief (embossed) such as bust D. (a statue, depicting of Voltaire)
This means that the representation is not limited in one plane because namely the different parts of the object are positioned in different distances from the focal point of the lenses. (see plaster statue underneath the print)

As a result, the light rays originated from the object will gather in various places away from the lenses.

A suchlike smoke can be made in different methods. Mostly, ordinary incense is sprinkled on glowing coals thrown in a fireproof bowl placed perpendicular underneath the spot where the image will originate.


fig. 4 & 5

Fig.4 (plate 35) illustrate an other object mentioned to be pictured by the use of this instrument.

And fig.5 illustrate how the object is mounted on a “screen” with the aid of screw M, connected on support G, to enable an upward and downward movement necessary to situate the object in front of the opening where the tube HI is mounted.

Because the objects used inside this instrument are not limited to a flat space, as was the case in the previous instrument, it is much easier to design them with mechanisms to enable them to change during viewing.


Fig.6, for example, is showing a coffin with movable lid. When the wire N is slowly released, the lid is opened by a skeleton using one hand, secured with the lid, and this figure will raise at the same time from the tomb.

Fig.7 illustrate a construction, mentioned to perform a procession. On the front wall (ABC) the entrance of a chapel is depicted, showing the door (F) open. Behind this opening F a cylinder is fit, able to turn round his axle when pulling on the wire E.

The latter is winded on the lower part of the axle. On the cylinder various figures are painted, passing behind the open door. The other parts of the cylinder, and every other element that may not be seen unless the figures, are painted black.




Click for part one for the description on the Hauch slides, "Tenth Instrument" and the Hauch collection phantasmagoria slides


 Desiree Helgesen          Thomas Weynants

© Hauch’s Physiske Cabinet
Sorø, Denmark



other sources
from the Underworld
Seen in other collections

Visit after this page Phantasmagoria slides: Page I & Page II

Moisse Fantascope / Megascope

Other Opaque Projection accessories

Megascope with adaptor for decor

Molteni projection Marionettes



Molteni Projection Marionette (Visual Media collection)





Voltaire, projection statue (© The Hauchs' physiske cabinet in Denmark)

Opaque projection accessories are rare. In Magic Lantern literature, the Molteni projection puppets are best known. A few years ago, I traced in the The Hauchs' physiske cabinet in Denmark intriguing engravings of other opaque projection puppets & accessories. Unfortunately, all but one of the original items are dissappeared.

All engravings on this page and the statue of Voltaire, made in plaster, (left) are in the Hauch's Physiske Cabinet Collection, together with their phantasmagoria slides.

An interesting comparison are both Molteni Tomb skeleton marionettes resp. in the Visual Media and Volker Huber collection.
In the Volker Huber collection however, we also see the Winged skull puppet.
The Conservatoire National des Art et Métier is the lucky owner of several other opaque phantasmagoria projection accessories.

Back to phantasmagoria opaque projection Back to top or Hauch's slides or Helsinki & Visual Media slides

Visit later the theme of death in literature: Danse macabre des Hommes et des femmes   

Phantasmagoria links: Page I - Page II - Page III - Page IV - Page V - Page VI - Page VII - Page VIII - Page IX - Page X - Page XI - Page XII - Related Deadly entertainment