Le Stéréothèque a court foyer

Le Stéréothèque was Mattey’s first tray-based multiple-view stereoscope. After its introduction in 1903 [1], it remained Mattey’s most advanced stereoscope for over 20 years, after which it was replaced by Le Métascope.

Le Stéréothèque a court foyer

The crank driven mechanism is bi-directional. The two metal fingers that lift the slide from the tray are attached to a metal disc. The rotating of the disc moves the fingers up and down. When a switch on the front panel is pushed down, the turning of the crank will move the slide tray over the rail without lifting slides. It allows navigating to a specific image, while keeping the slides in the tray. A small round window shows the number of the slide that is selected.

Le Stéréothèque a court foyer

The shown stereoscope is a 45 x 107 mm Stéréothèque a court foyer model, with a storage compartment for eight slide trays. The court foyer or short focus model can be recognised by the sloping panel. Short focus models offer a solution to a typical problem encountered with 45 x 107 mm tray-based stereoscopes.

The minimum distance between the lenses of the stereoscope and the loaded glass slide is the length of the slide tray, which is about 10 cm. With larger stereoview formats this is not a problem, but the image of a 45 x 107 mm slide is shown relatively small from this distance, and a lot of dark space of the stereoscope interior is visible. Mattey solved the issue by using short focus lenses with a larger focal length to magnify the image and show a near full screen image. The Stéréothèque a court foyer was available for the 45 x 107 mm and 6 x 13 cm format and had a significantly higher price.

Year of introduction:1903
Stereoview types:Glass stereoviews
Supported formats:45 x 107 mm, 6 x 13 cm and 8.5 x 17 cm. Stéréothèque models for other formats could be manufactured on demand.
Number of slides:25 slides
Lens focus:Yes
Inter-ocular adjustment:Yes


  1. Wing, P. (1996) Stereoscopes: The First One Hundred Years. Transition Publishing. p.200 
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