Homepage 'de Luikerwaal' Magic Lanterns, manufactured by
Jean Schoenner part 1
The German toy maker Jean Schoenner began production in Nuremberg in 1875. Twenty years later his company had 250 employees making mainly optical toys and magic lanterns, but also steam engines. In those years the firm made probably hundreds of thousands of lanterns. At first the trade mark was S.N. (Schoenner, Nuremberg), later on the initials J.S. were used, placed in an octagonal roundel.

No toys produced after 1906 are known. Probably by 1904 most parts of the firm's tooling machinery had been taken over by Johann Falk. All traces of the firm had disappeared by 1913.


In Greek mythology Atlas was one of the Titans who took part in their war against Zeus, for which as a punishment he was condemned to hold aloft the heavens. In works of art he is often represented as carrying the celestial globe.

On two of the most attractive lanterns made by Jean Schoenner his task is to carry the slide holder and the lens tube. At his feet, on the base, there are three head figures, two of them looking aside and one back, in the direction of the lamp holder.

The spherical lantern (1880) has a polished brass lamp house. The Atlas figure is made of black lacquered tin.

The cylinder shaped lantern (1880) has a black or red lacquered lamp house. The Atlas figure is made of black lacquered pressed tin; in older designs it was made of cast iron. This projector uses both rectangular and round slides. For use of the latter a bow shaped holder is attached to the rear of the man figure.

Both lanterns were produced in three sizes. The Atlas figure measures about 4.5" x 2" (11.5 x 5 cm).


Spherical brass lantern, 1880.

Germany c. 1890
Both lanterns are made of painted tin. Front and back of the lantern are nickled. Lantern measures approx 4.25" by 6" at base, and 10.75" tall to top of stack. The lens support of the first lantern is plain and undecorated. The second one has a nice pressed tin decoration on its lens support. It was also available in a fully black and a dark blue design. Both lanterns are able to show rectangular and circular slides.


1890. This beautiful ornamented toy lantern was available in red (see previous page), black or dark blue. It is able to show rectangular and circular slides. The lantern is 10.5 (26.5 cm) tall and 7 (18 cm) from front to back. The box is 12 x 7.5 x 5.5 (30.5 x 19 x 14 cm).


A similar magic lantern as above, this time a little less elaborately decorated. The lantern is suitable for presenting both disk-shaped as rectangular slides.
The magic lantern is stored in a high box, equipped with a colourful label.
The case measures 11 5/8" x 8 1/4" x 5". Assembled, the lantern stands 10 3/4" tall x 7" long x 4 1/2" wide.


The Jubilee J.S. Bavaria.

The lantern measures 14 inches high, 6.75 inches wide and 4.75 inches deep (35.5 x 17 x 12 cm). The chimney goes deep inside the lantern, down to the burner with which it forms a whole. It also combines a convex condenser lens.

The Jubilee Grand Bavaria, 1895.
The Jubilee Grand Bavaria, 1895.

 This silo shaped magic lantern has a rack on the front to hold six glass slides. There is a burner inside; a narrow metal chimney goes all the way down to the burner (see also the photo's of the lantern above). The lantern is 14" tall and the base is 6" across (35.5 x 15 cm).


This magic lantern is a Perfekt J.S. Its dimensions are about 14.5" tall x 10.5" long  x 4" deep. It has a reflector and lamp inside. The lens is adjustable to focus by turning the little knob at the end of the lens.



Lovely little toy lantern. The box bears the beautiful coloured label with the J.S. trade mark.

A reflector is attached to the inside of the hinged backdoor. The roof is decorated with four points of a golden star.

The approx dimensions of the box are 7.5 ins wide by 6.6 ins deep by 4.5 ins high (19 x 17 x 11.5 cm).
Right: a larger version.

Mind the spelling mistakes in 'Entertainment'.

Antique magic lantern  and 10 glass slides in original wooden carry case.


Rare magic lantern by Jean Schoenner, c. 1890. 12 in. high. Magic Lantern with brass optic and chimney. 13" high (35 cm), in wooden box. Handle aside. C. 1900.

More magic lanterns made by Schoenner.....


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Last update: 23-05-2021.
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