View Full Version : What camera is this?

22-Jun-2013, 19:29
I received this camera as a gift, but what is it?
There is a brass plate attached to it that claims that it is a ''Sanderson''.
It looks to me like a home made name plate.
I have hunted high and low and cannot find a camera that has the same features
and fittings.
The bound corners and joints suggest to me to be a tropical version of whatever
it is.
The metal fittings are a combination of mostly nickle plate,that has some kind of
yellow varnish on it, and brass.
It is a triple extension with rise and fall front with tilt,no swing.
The bellows are leather with what looks like a silk material coating, grey in colour.
The corners are reenforced with burgundy/maroon leather.
There is no lettering or wording on the camera other than the fake? name plate
and the numbers on the extension scale metal strips. Can any one help? Frank from Downunder.


Regular Rod
23-Jun-2013, 00:12
This might help. It's not a fake...



23-Jun-2013, 01:15
Remember that Sanderson was owned by Houghtons, later Houghton-Butcher, they had a factory in India which is why many Indian and Japanese field cameras copied their style. Houghtons were the largest camera manufacturer in the world at their height.

It looks like a typical British field camera from around 1900-1920's definitely not home-made and from Houghton's, see this one (http://www.earlyphotography.co.uk/site/entry_C520.html) which is similar. There's variations over the years they were manufactuerd and cameras could be configured to special order, the additional brass inlay may indicate a camera for tropical use. So almost certainly a Houghton made camera sold unser their Sanderson brand.


24-Jun-2013, 23:26
Thanks Rod and Ian,
I had seen the cameras you referred me to, there are many that are similar but i have not come across another the same.
That and the home made looking name plate has got me really intrigued.
I was hoping some one out there had another one the same so i could see exactly what the back should look like.
I have the original ground glass and frame but not the back frame that it screws onto. I still feel that its some thing that's been cobbled together.
Thanks for your help,regards, Frank.

Steven Tribe
25-Jun-2013, 00:00
We need to see the "false" company plate and a close-up of the wood. I suppose it could be a "rebadged" Indian/Japanese made camera which often had the hinge front. These cameras often had local hardwoods which, whilst being very suitable for camera making, often had more irregular growth than teak or mahogany.

25-Jun-2013, 02:09
Houghton Butcher (Eastern) Ltd the Indian branch of Houghtonswas owned by British Photographic Industries. Ltd and a shareholder was Major The Hon.. J. J. Astor who was aide-de-camp to the Viceroy of India 1911-14, he later became an MP and Chairman of the Times (which he'd bought) and was a director of Hambros Bank, Phoenix Assurance and the GWR.

Astor (later to become Lord Astor) and his family were the only investor shareholders in Houghton Butcher, all the other shares were owned by family members of the companies that had become part of Houghtons and later BPI and Houghton-Butcher.

It's quite likely an Indian made camera but little is known about the activities of Houghton Butcher (Eastern) which later became Ensign (India).


25-Jun-2013, 16:44

Yes you could be right about the Indian connection.
The timber appears to have a slightly courser grain especially in the base,it has defined grain lines running length ways about 5mm apart, like pine does but straight .
If you look carefully at the name plate you will notice that the lettering is hand stamped and uneven.
Thanks for your interest, Regards,Frank.

26-Jun-2013, 00:48
Don't read too much into the grain of the timber, I have 3 Houghton field cameras and the wood varies considerably. I can see why you think it's a homemade name plate but I wouldn't like to say it's not a Houghton made field camera.