We have always considered and collected these commercial masks and helmets as industries tribal art. Examples can be elegant in their simplicity or bazaar and complex. They are always unique, suprising and filled with personality.
1873, Bush Kaleidoscope
This is a Charles G. Bush kaleidoscope. This example would be most interesting for the seasoned collector. It’s a sought after instrument and is considered the rarer of the Bush scopes. This example has no brass and the ships wheel handles are all turned wood. Bush was the most important American manufacturer of kaleidoscopes in its time and I believe the first American patented kaleidoscope. This example is from 1873 and is signed and dated. There is a wonderful collection of glass objects in this one. The major part of any Bush scope is its glass. They were famous for making and even patented the beautiful handmade lace, twisted rods, and liquid filled vials of multicolored glass. This example has a number of these vials, each one a different color. Very few of these delicate optical toys ever survived and fewer in this condition. The frosted glass, brass and paper covered finishes are all-original and show an aged patina. But most important is the presence of the original rear lens disc and cap. These are pieces that were removable and were often lost. The inside mirrors are a bit dusty which you would expect on a 144 year old toy... $950