Assist in Identifying Old Wood and Brass Plate Camera ?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Retro-Vintage, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Hi Retro-Vintage and welcome to APUG. I see this is your first post. I can't tell you anything about your camera, but there may be some who can. A few facts about it, like the size, would help a lot.

    Good luck,
    Whitey
     
  2. alexphoto

    alexphoto Member

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    Hi Retro-Vintage, It's very difficult to identify your camera as so many were made without a name. Is there any thing engraved on the brass lens barrel, that may help if there is. Of course the lens may not be original to the camera.

    good luck
    Alex
     
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi retro, welcome !

    from the images you linked to
    it looks like a "tailboard" camera
    which means the front standard is stationary
    and the back focuses ...

    if you measure the ground glass on the rear standard
    it will tell you the format, and if there are words written
    on the brass barrel and you post them here
    there are lens-wizards here that will be able to
    tell you lots-and-lots about your lens ...

    have fun !
    john
     
  4. Retro-Vintage

    Retro-Vintage Member

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    thanks for the replies - the lens reads Hermagis No. 20881 OptnFab
     
  5. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    From the look of it, I'd hazard a guess at 1880-1910 time frame. If the lens is original to the camera (which it looks like it could be), it is possible it's a French camera (although in that time period French lenses were some of the best in the world and were sold everywhere - many American house-label lenses were actually French optics with blank barrels so they could be engraved with the local store's branding).
     
  6. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    As stated above, looks to be a French tailboard camera with Hermagis lens circa 1890. Value is about $ 300.00 +/- 50 USD

    You would really need to locate a French collector to help identify the exact maker - but it really doesnt matter given this type of camera is plentiful and not rare (despite who may have made it).

    Good luck with Auction Kings
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's also worth remembering that tailboard cameras were in continuous production up until the early 1960's in the UK from Watson's, Gandolfi may have made the odd few since then as well.

    There are a few makes that fetch very high prices, but the camera etc needs to be almost mint.

    As said above you really need help from France, most UK cameras use similar, or identical brass fittings bought in from specialist brass companies, I've a couple of 1890's catalogues, and it's much the same in the US where you see the same Brass work on competitors cameras.

    Interestingly your camera's carrying handle looks like a drawer handle, often camera woodwork was made by cabinet makers.

    Ian