French have always had a strong presence in the stereo sphere, ever since
stereo photography was first invented. This has spawned a number of
different makes of viewer; one of which was the Colorelief.
viewers used a rectangular card with multiple images, rather than circular
reels, as used by View-Master products.
An early Bakelite Colorelief
lenses on this viewer are quite close together, making it slightly less
comfortable to use than some other viewers, however, the lenses are very
good quality and the image is very bright and clear. The two halves of the
body are held together with bolts.
It is particularly important with
these viewers not to accidentally release the slide advance lever, as the
rapid upward action can crack the bakelite case above the lever. When
purchasing this type of viewer a buyer should inspect this area very
closely for cracks as a damaged bakelite viewer is of very little value.
The words "Brevete S.G.D.G" are embossed on the viewer and this is often
mistaken for the manufacturer's name, it is in fact the French equivalent
of the English "Patent" mark. (SGDG stands for
'sans garantie du
gouvernement', which means 'without government guarantee' in
A Colorelief 'Retro'
Colorelief ‘Retro’ model was made from plastic, sometime between 1956
and 1964 (exact date unknown). The slides are advanced using a red knob
on the side of the viewer. Internally there are a pair of rollers with
rubber strips that grip the slide and advance it as the knob is turned.
light apertures of this viewer are quite large and grab a lot of light.
This leads to a clear, bright image for the user. There were cards
specifically made by Colorelief, but the viewer can be used equally well
with Bruguiére Steréocartes.
thing to watch for when purchasing these viewers is to ensure the
internal rubber rollers are intact, as they are prone to perish if the
viewer has been exposed to hot conditions.
A pair of early style Colorelief slides
from the 1950's