In Austen's Mansfield Park, what is a transparency?
June 17, 2015 10:07 AM   Subscribe

Fanny's room is described has having "three transparencies, made in a rage for transparencies, for the three lower panes of one window, where Tintern Abbey held its station between a cave in Italy, and a moonlight lake in Cumberland" I'm just curious, what are these? Would they have been purchased, say of the Turner painting, or made by the cousins? Where can I see transparencies from this period?
posted by bdc34 to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: They're images on a transparent material, designed to be hung in windows. Some information here.
posted by pipeski at 10:18 AM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There's also more info here. They were not made to last and so we don't have any from that period, is my understanding.
posted by vacapinta at 10:38 AM on June 17, 2015

Best answer: Some surviving examples.
posted by verstegan at 10:59 AM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

As kids, we made these, after being shown by our grandmother (who I think was shown by her grandmother). We'd take drawings and lightly daub them with cooking oil to make the paper go clear, then we'd hang them up in the window. The results weren't great (they'd go horribly dusty, and often smear) but it was Something To Do On A Rainy Day.

(and now I feel really, really old, but thanks for the reminder of the word, bringing back the aroma of 1970s chip-pan oil and coloured pencils ...)
posted by scruss at 11:59 AM on June 17, 2015 [6 favorites]

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