Mattey branded stereoscope

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At first glance this is a simple hand-held stereoscope from Mattey’s wide product range. The stereoscope appears in the company’s catalogues as No. 649 – avec mise au point à molette (with focussing wheel). Perhaps the most special about this viewer is that it bears the name Mattey. Mattey was one of the leading manufacturers of stereoscopes from the early 20th century, with a very extensive product range. Remarkably, relatively few viewers that were manufactured by the company carry the name Mattey. This in contrast to Jules Richard and Gaumont who usually stated their name, and sometimes also the company address, on their products. Typically, Mattey’s viewers can be identified by one of the trademarks the company used, such as Unis France. However, many products don’t have a trademark and can only be identified by their appearance in the company’s catalogues.

Why this stereoscope bears the name Mattey is unclear. Perhaps the company made a distinction between the business-to-business and consumer markets. The products that the company sold to resellers were often relabeled by the seller. An example is this Stéréoscope à doucine, which was relabeled and sold by Mackenstein. Apparently it was not necessary to mention the name Mattey. Only the products that were sold directly by Mattey to consumers were provided with the name Mattey.


Manufacturer:Mattey, Paris
Year of introduction:c. 1922
Year of manufacture:c. 1922–c.1940
Serial number:None
Stereoview support:Glass and paper card stereoviews
Stereoview format:45 x 107 mm
Lens focussing:Yes
Inter-ocular adjustment:No
Eyepiece blinders:No
Dimensions (L x W x H):13.5 x 10.5 x 8 cm

Mattey was one of the leading manufacturers of stereoscopes in France. The company offered the widest range of stereoscopes of all manufacturers. The company was founded in 1872, but its expansion began with the establishment of Société Mattey père et fils on 31 December 1902. The names behind the company were André Élie Victor Mattey (1844–1919), and his son Albert Georges Mattey (1873–1940). Mattey’s business grew through acquisitions. The most important was the acquisition of Maison Legendre in 1902, which set the foundation for Mattey’s stereoscope business.

Société Mattey père et fils was dissolved on 1 January 1912, and the company was continued by Albert Georges as Stéréoscopes A. Mattey. The company was located at 208, Rue Saint-Maur in Paris from 1906 but moved to 15, Rue Clavel in 1936. After the Second World War, the company continued as Société des Anciens Établissements A. Mattey. It still manufactured stereoscopes in 1952, although the heydays of stereoscopy were over by then. Mattey’s products were also branded Unis France, a collective trademark to guarantee the French origin of high-quality products, made by different companies.
The complete story of Mattey