Visitors to the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions will see a different side to the Queen this Diamond Jubilee, with the unveiling of a highly sought after Rubins Vase.
Created to commemorate The Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, the silhouette of the vase contains the hidden profiles of both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, with one profile morphing seamlessly into the other as the eye follows the contours.
The vase will be mounted on a moving turntable, creating the illusion of the faces swapping places and talking to each other, which has led to the vase being dubbed ‘The Queen’s Speech’.
Andrew Johnson, Director and Manager of the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, said: “We are thrilled to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with this highly unusual exhibit.
“This Rubins Vase is extremely rare and is one of the best examples of its kind. Most Rubins vases have only one hidden face, whereas this vase has two.
“We thought it was the perfect way to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and give our visitors a chance to see The Queen and Prince Philip in a whole new light.”
The presence of two faces rather than one makes this an unusual piece, giving the vase a ‘lopsided’ look, which proved problematic during the firing of the vases in the kiln where they were produced.
The visual phenomenon is named after a Danish psychologist, Edgar Rubin, who discovered the spectacle in 1915. He learnt that the eye is unable to process two images at once but is capable of shifting between looking at the body of the vase and seeing the profile of the two heads in the silhouette.
Since relaunching in June 2010 after a £1.2m renovation, the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, one of Edinburgh's oldest visitor attractions, continues to go from strength to strength. Rated a five-star, world class visitor attraction by Visit Scotland, it is one of Edinburgh's most popular days out, with visitor numbers currently 15% higher than in 2011.??
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