SPIRITUALISM - PSYCHIC PHOTOGRAPHY A collection of psychic photographs and 'skotographs' relating to
Lot 273
SPIRITUALISM - PSYCHIC PHOTOGRAPHY A collection of psychic photographs and 'skotographs' relating to Charles A. Aeschimann and the Falconer Brothers, c.1920s-70s
Sold for £19,200 (US$ 32,271) inc. premium
Lot Details
SPIRITUALISM - PSYCHIC PHOTOGRAPHY
A collection of psychic photographs and 'skotographs' relating to Charles A. Aeschimann and the Falconer Brothers, c.1920s-70s
Comprising approximately 180 gelatin silver prints, several with ink stamp of "Craig & George Falconer, Renowned Psychic Photographers" or "The Greater World" on verso, 13 large glass 'skotographic' plates, a number of copy slides, a signed copy of Aeschimann's 'Oriana Book' (1975), and several related letters and copies of articles from 'The Greater World' (quantity)
various sizes

Footnotes

  • The Falconer Brothers seem to have produced spirit or 'psychometric' photographs from the beginning of the 1930s, depicting their sitters with manifestations of 'spirit entities' hovering alongside, surrounded by a cloud of ectoplasm or 'psychic force'. Charles Aeschimann was born in Switzerland, and after a period in Paris, he settled in London in around 1914. The Falconer Brothers' advertisements, and examples of their work, appeared in Aeschimann's landmark newspaper The Greater World, and around 1939 Aeschimann sat with the Falconer Brothers and obtained a number of 'skotographs' - thirteen of which are included in the present collection. As he explains in a letter also included in the lot, "no camera was used and the plates were not prepared, but wrapped in black paper. We recited the Lord's Prayer and Craig Falconer and I placed our hands on the plates while my wife was playing hymns on the piano." When developed, the plates revealed extensive text in a clumsy Arabic hand, decipherable in part as appeals to God and references to Abraham. Several times the Falconer Brothers were investigated as fraudsters, and in 1931 they were fined £300 by the South African authorities whilst on a tour. Several of the present spirit photographs appear to include African spirits, and another apparently included a 'spirit head' that also appeared in a painting in the Tate Gallery (Harry Price, 'The Mechanics of Spiritualism').
Activities