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Thread: Are Andrew Ross engraving calligraphic styles inconsistent?

  1. #1

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    Are Andrew Ross engraving calligraphic styles inconsistent?

    I recently bought Andrew Ross Portrait No.4 380mm f3.3.
    I enjoy learning and looking up the histories of this lens.

    The serial numer 2641 indicates circa 1855, thanks to Roseman.
    The front and rear element diameters are 115mm. The lens covers 8x10 and even more.

    I looked up vade mecum and A.Ross lens samples on internet. Ross engraving calligraphies seem to be inconsistent unlike Dallmeyer.... Each engraving samples of A.Ross have slightly different calligraphic styles. Also sometimes there is a dot after A, some don’t. there is a comma after Ross, some don’t. Maybe each craftsman of A.Ross might expressed who made the lens by different engraving calligraphic styles?? Any insights are appreciated.

    At the time my sample was made, the stops were like washers as in here.

    https://flic.kr/p/dmgFTq

    The waterhouse slot was cut over the barrel after 1858(year of invention of waterhouse stop), after the production of the lens circa 1855 and the cut part with the engraving seemed put on the barrel in the opposite direction against the normal direction.

    The original engraving position of the outer barrel must be the opposite side of the rack and pinion. A craftsman cut the outer barrel brass part for the waterhouse stop.

    I have confirmed the ross engraving plate was taken from the original outer barrel, based on that the thickness of thin
    part and thick part of the engraving plate match to the outer barrel thick part and thin part. I also identified the original position of the plate somewhere in the middle of the waterhouse cutout from the outer barrel.

    I aligned the plate to anywhere on the cutout perimeters but didn’t match the cuts and the thin and thick part alignment is in the middle position as in the picture.

    so the comma(,) if any was certainly lost because the engraving plate was in the middle of the cutout and unnecessary part was further cut off when attaching to the outer barrel.

    The vade mecum says in this kind of conversion to waterhouse slot, the original engraving part is thrown away and a new engraving is made on the outer barrel. That was not the case to this
    sample. The original engraving plate was kept by the craftsman kindly to keep the originality.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I found some info about A.Ross in other threads which are very helpful.

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ross+engraving
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ross+engraving
    Last edited by mhayashi; 23-Apr-2021 at 16:03.

  2. #2

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    Re: Are Andrew Ross engraving calligraphic styles inconsistent?

    some more pics.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3

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    Re: Are Andrew Ross engraving calligraphic styles inconsistent?

    I havn’t read everything closely yet..
    BUT Ross used the Old fashioned fs to represent ss until a serial number that is much higher than yours! Fs was also used on pre 1839 telescopes/brass instruments etc in copperplate engravings.

  4. #4

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    Re: Are Andrew Ross engraving calligraphic styles inconsistent?

    Ross must have used at least a couple of engravers in the workshop (generations, illness etc.) and there must have been a slight difference in fine details made from individual to individual.
    This is a lovely example of what done in connection with the adoption of Waterhouse slots. Sometimes, just a few words or letters remain on the barrel - next to the cut square. The normal system is to use 4 screws to mount the plate somewhere else on the barrel. There is currently a Voigtlander around which has a wonderful genuine engraving on the lens hood. This was obviously in connection with the lens being converted to Waterhouse slot/cut-out and the identity was “reestablished” by the people at Braunschweig.

    You might want to check that the velvet seal in the inside of the brass sleeve is still intact! You can see from the reverse side of the cut-out piece that there is a wide grove where the velvet ribbon has been.

    I call these insert hood stops “cup” stops and very few have survived. UK makers went over to WHS very soon after 1857/8. They continued in France much longer. In fact, Lerebours & Secretan continued with them until they went out of business and a good percentage of these lenses still have.

  5. #5

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    Re: Are Andrew Ross engraving calligraphic styles inconsistent?

    Thanks Steven for your insight! I was expecting a reply from you about this topic.
    Your mention about the Voigtlander must be this!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    What you mean by velvet seal must be this!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    There is a strip along the thinner part of the outer barrel rim inside.

    I also noticed the light leaks from spaces in between the rack and pinion gear base and the inner barrel inside.
    Were there some stuffing or taping to prevent the light leak originally?
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6

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    Re: Are Andrew Ross engraving calligraphic styles inconsistent?

    I also noticed the waterhouse curtain ring for light trap is big for certainty so the effective aperture is lost from f3.3 to f4ish.
    I may remove the waterhouse curtain ring or cut the ring to widen the hole diameter to gain more light and the original f3.3.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    If I do this, I would have to make a custom made waterhouse stop to prevent light leak from the slot hole.

  7. #7

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    Re: Are Andrew Ross engraving calligraphic styles inconsistent?

    Quote Originally Posted by mhayashi View Post



    I also noticed the light leaks from spaces in between the rack and pinion gear base and the inner barrel inside.
    Were there some stuffing or taping to prevent the light leak originally?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Most makers used some kind of semi-permanent mastic/putty. Perhaps it fell away during the significant work done on the barrel.
    Some makers (both English and French) used black paper tape - the same type used to cover drying-out cracks in mahogany plate holders. Sometimes it is possible to identify an unpainted black strip parallel to the track where the original tape has fallen off.

  8. #8

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    Re: Are Andrew Ross engraving calligraphic styles inconsistent?

    Thank you Steven for clarification.
    The serial number #2641 production date is corrected to circa 1855, according to Roseman.
    The wiki Ross serial numbering periods seem to be unmatched.
    He told me to publish about Ross serial numbering soon.

    http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Ross_serial_numbers
    Last edited by mhayashi; 23-Apr-2021 at 16:12.

  9. #9
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    Re: Are Andrew Ross engraving calligraphic styles inconsistent?

    Quote Originally Posted by mhayashi View Post
    Thank you Steven for clarification.
    The serial number #2641 is corrected to circa 1855, according to Roseman.
    The wiki Ross serial numbering periods seem to be unmatched.
    He told me to publish about Ross serial numbering soon.

    http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Ross_serial_numbers
    Who is 'Roseman' ?
    __________________
    When day is done......

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  10. #10

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    Re: Are Andrew Ross engraving calligraphic styles inconsistent?

    Ron, Roseman is him.
    https://flic.kr/p/dmgFTq

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