View Full Version : Help identfying camera

4-Jun-2016, 18:13
I purchased this camera along with a cooke series II 14.5in and a hermagis petzval 14.5in. It has no identifying marks on it, the back attaching springs look the same as my century 4A, it came with four graflok type backs the largest is 8 1/2 x 6 1/2. I am hoping that some of the experts on here may be able to shed some light. I have scoured the web for days without any luck.


Steven Tribe
5-Jun-2016, 08:51
Don't expect to put a name on this!
It is, of course, a Continental design Studio Camera, that has kept the original lenses, but lost the Studio Stand. The present film holders are a late addition when Portrait studios reduced the size of registration. The "double ended" adjustment on both front and rear standards was a must have and the inset pressure spring mount was another clear continental feature before 1900.
It could have been sold new in the english speaking world as these are ocassionally seen at auction in England and pre-date modern Ebay purchases.

If it had been sold in Germany, it would have had a Grundner shutter built in rather than the leaf shutter it has.

5-Jun-2016, 11:01
Most likely 1890s, maybe early 1900. The nickel plated brass is another clue to age. I'm going to give a guess as possibly British, mainly because it's Full Plate format.

Kentin SD

5-Jun-2016, 17:46
Thankyou both for your input, the English full plate format suggested british, but the metal work had me thinking german, there is little history that I can find on European cameras. However the workmanship of the metal and the distinctive tilt adjust I thought would have suggested a large manufacturer able to produce their own hardware. The extension board is very intricate with a several tongue and groove fittings, the adjusting knobs are similar to those found on my hermagis lens. One of four I have now have that are hard to name. Name or no name they show remarkable craftsmanship all the same.

Steven Tribe
6-Jun-2016, 00:57
I was a bit too quick with this one! Whilst the general design is continental, the brass fitments cannot be German etc. They are so plain - real Continentals have attractive fitments with curves. This one has straight cut brass. There were a lot of small brass workshops around that could have this in the 1890's.
I was also wrong about the mechanism on the front standard, which is the common system.

6-Jun-2016, 05:14
I tend to agree with Steven, it's almost certainly not British and it has a Continental style to it.

By the 1890's in the UK some cameras were being sold in kit form for small workshops to assemble so there's many un-named cameras, or just carrying the shop's name. However the brass work came from two main suppliers, and there would have been other smaller brass workshops as well. I did post images from the Lansdale (camera parts -wood & brass, kits, & finished cameras and also Evers (brass) catalogues somewhere on this forum.

This camera is quite different because of the plain brass fittings. The fact that it takes UK size plates but has a continental feel may be a clue. If you can find or access "The Australian Photographic Review", from the 1890's, published by Baker & Rouse Proprietary Ltd, they had warehouses across Australia, Melbourne (Head Office, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane, in the 1890's and were distributors for British and Continental manufacturers, also later Eastman Kodak.

So my question is could it have been made locally ? What do you know of the camera's history. It's very difficult identifying some cameras, ironically why looking up Baker & Rouse just now I spotted and early review of a Gandolfi Premier and realised it's the same as one of my own unidentified cameras.


6-Jun-2016, 19:27
Thanks for the info, Steven I have checked the Globus and it is identical in kind, but as you say the fittings are less ornate. However I did have another camera that I was also scratching my head about and that definitely is Globus it has an unmistakable hinge for the rear standard tilt that I had never seen before.
As for Baker and Rouse, yes searched their too but not much joy, funnily enough I bought one camera of a chap in "kit form", enthusiasm was their I suspect and then wained. Along with the bits and pieces was another camera I thought to be a Thornton and Pickard, it had the Baker and Rouse badge. Still a Thornton and Pickard but rebadged. Snuggled up in the bottom of the cardboard box was a Ross cabinet Lens. Thanks for the info on reference material, will check for it.