A transparency from the 18th century, ancestor of cinema, sold over € 110,000 at auction, in Chartres

The Chartres Gallery auction, originally scheduled for March 29, was held on Saturday June 6. It was based on old paintings, furniture and works of art.

Nearly 400 people were registered on the platforms and around thirty were on site, for 330 lots offered and 85% of lots sold. Among them, two pieces were particularly coveted: the Carmontelle transparency and the monumental fountain of the Val d’Osne foundry.

Carmontelle’s transparency (1717-1806)

The transparency of Louis Carrogis dit Carmontelle dates from the 18th century and is considered to be the ancestor of cinema. “It’s a length of transparency on which Carmontelle made portraits and landscapes in watercolor,” explains Alain Paris, auctioneer. Light is projected through these thin sheets, “so we saw the different scenes coming”.

Estimated at 30,000 to 50,000 €, it was sold for 114,000 € (20% including tax) by the Galerie de Chartres.

“A fairly exceptional property, rare in terms of technicality.”

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It was a great French collector, passionate about optical games and pre-cinema, who won the auction. “A collector whom we have known for 30 years and who has a fine collection”, specifies Alain Paris.

This transparency is part of a set of five rolls, two of which were sold by this auction house in 1987. One is currently at the Musée de Condé in Chantilly (Oise). The last one has disappeared.

The monumental fountain of the Val d´Osne foundry

The fountain, made of cast iron and sheet metal 4 meters high, dates from the end of the 19th century and was produced by the Val d´Osne foundry.

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It was sold for € 96,000, after having been estimated at € 30,000 to € 50,000. The Val d’Osne foundry was the largest art foundry until the 1900s, with the Pont Alexandre II in Paris, for example.


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