A Diablerie is a unique stereo card with demonic scenes of the underworld, designed for stereoscopic viewers in Paris in the mid 19th century. They were first sold to the public in England and France around 1853, becoming hugely popular throughout the mid to late 1850s.
Brian and his two collaborators first published a book on 180 of the known 182 Diablerie cards in 2013, and have now tracked down the remaining two. Consequently, his London Stereoscopic Company has published a lavish new edition of the Diableries book.
“By looking through the stereoscope, supplied with the book, you will be transported to an underworld of devils, satyrs and skeletons, rich in imagery and storytelling,” say the publishers. Rather than just showing fanciful images of the underworld, the cards also hint at wider social issues, such as clues to social conflict in 19th century France.
You can check out some of the cards using Brian May’s specially designed 3D ‘Owl’ viewer on Monday 28th October at the Century Club, Soho, London W1D 6LQ. There will also be a 3D screening of the Diableries film, One Night in Hell, which Esquire says is “the best film you will see all Halloween” Opening hours from 11am-4pm and entry is free. The new Diableries book is published by The London Stereoscopic Company, and costs £60. It goes onsale on October 31st – Halloween!