Is it a crone or a lovely lady? A dapper man with a ascot or a toothless old geezer? Things are not always what they seem at first glance... or even at second or third. The Playful Eye is a virtual feast of games and visual tricks gathered from around the world. With a full-color puzzle or conundrum to tease the eye and intrigue the mind on every page, this generously sized volume goes far beyond other optical illusions books. There's no straining to see garishly colored 3-D images that rarely materialize like those other books of eye candy. These original, antique illustrations garnered from exquisite European and Asian art and ephemera of centuries past are as delightful to look at as they are to play with. A phantasmagoria of hidden images, multiple figures, upside-downs, rebuses, and good old fashioned illusions, this book brings the mysteries of perception into plain sight. Perfect for the artistically inclined and anyone who enjoys visual diversion off the beaten path, The Playful Eye weaves the comic, charming, ingenious, and sinister together in one bustling compendium of optical tricks and games--bringing far more than just beauty to its beholder.