The "Nadar" signature seems genuine enough, it is also visible on the photograph of the Paris studio of Nadar in Naomi Rosenblum's "A world history of photography". That book also says Nadar operated a studio in Marseille during the '80s and '90s, but it doesn't say if this replaced his Paris studio (35 Boulevard des Capucines), and in fact the same Paris studio photo is dated as "after 1880"... so he may have run two at the time together with his son Paul.
Funny, there is a bit of conflicting info here as to the whereabouts of Nadar or his son, as this MoMA page says:
"After staying in Marseille from 1895 to 1904, where he opened a studio, Nadar returned to the region of Paris."
Also, that page lists 25 Boulevard des Capucine as the address of the studio, instead of 35... :confused:
Although this particular image of the outside of his studio is repeated a multitude on the internet, there doesn't seem to be a depiction of the interior of his studio including the cameras he used...
My "The history of photography as seen through the Spira collection book" shows an "Express Détective Nadar" magazine camera, second model, that Paul Nadar seems to have been using ca. 1889. It used 9x12 cm dry plates.
I also had to laugh when I saw this animated rotating self portrait by Nadar :laugh::
Another interesting image is this one with Nadar doing aerial photography (Lithograph):
A more serious version of his own cartoon:
Marco, I examined a larger image of the store front at 35 Boulevard des Capucines. I believe it's 35, since 37 is next door in the image. I noticed what appears to be clothing retailer on the ground and first levels of that building. What a great way to lure in customers. Get them into a new suit of clothing and then take their picture while the checkbook is still loosened up. ;-)
Although I did not see a similar camera with the quick review I did, you may like this websites index of early camera and other photographic equipment:
I am rather interested in antiques and there are two things that are really important here
1: provenance: who had it/used it and can it be proven. An object can reach pretty high values, lets say a 1940 Conway Stewart fountan pen, but now if you can prove that a certain pen is the pen used by Winston Churchil, well, then that pen is worth much much more then any other 940 Conway Stewart fountain pen.
2: Original object, if the object dont work it doesn't matter, if the pen is the real pen with all the original bits and pices that Churchil used, then its worth a fortune, if its tampered with it loses value rapid.
I was once asked to make an estimate on a very old table and i was very excited because the table had the stamps of a very good and know Stockholm master. Problem was when i arrived the table had been sanded/restored and laquerd (clear), the table looked new. If the table have had the old finish produced by time and history it would have been worth around 250 000 dollars, now it was worth around 2000 to 3000.
This camera do have the two above, provenance and originality, if its restored it loses the time/history aspect and a great deal of the price. Dont change anything, it might have to undergo a conservation process, but that is the maximum that should be done with it. Dont destroy the history that this object contain, dont restore it.
The flaw in the argument above is that Nadar is the name of the Distributor/seller of the camera rather than the name of the camera's owner unfortunately. Secondly the condition isn't good enough to have a very high collectors value.
It's still going to be worth somewhere over £100/120 euros but even very good condition camera's of similar vintage often only sell for £200 - £400
Some of the websites don't show just long some these tailboard cameras were being manufactured, Sands, Hunter & Co were still making one in the late 1920's as were Adams & Co. In the case of Adams the "Challenge" of 1928 is the same as the 1882 model, the 1928 De-Luxe Universal Sands, Hunter model has a rising front.
Sands, Hunter were more of a distributor & retailer than a manufacturer so it's likely the camera was made by another workshop. Louis Gandolfi worked for Lejeune & Perken who didn't sell cameras under their own name, and the Gandolfi tailboard cameras were quite similar to the later Sands, Hunter model.
Ups, my fault, i missed that, read a bit to fast. Now when its just a camera it change everything (same argument as I wrote with the pen). Restore if you want.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
My guess is with sympathetic restoration, cleaning brass work and wood work, with a light fresh coat of french polish the framin body of the camera will look excellent.
If the right material can be found to make new bellow the camera will probably be worth anything between £150 - £400 once finished. X1.5 for $ value.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
We can surely put that question to rest. Since Nadar sold apparatus can you point me to reference of other tailboards (or view cameras) that Nadar has sold (excluding Paul's detective camera)? Especially cameras that you know of having a similar Nadar plaque. Either through completed auction listings, on the web, camera collections, or in printed reference material, etc? I gather that Nadar sold many cameras of various types.
Thanks in advance.
Yes, I made inquiry about the original lens for the camera. The operator of the site was very informative saying that a good quality Ross or Dallmeyer of about 6" would do. And that I should pay attention to the serial numbers.
Originally Posted by Marco B
Most camera's sold get listed by their manufacturer's name not the shop who sold them. Then there's an ebay problem where searches don't map across from different countries properly so using the US or UK sites doesn't pull up items listed/sold in France, However there are references to Nadar selling British cameras around the 1880's and his visiting London to buy cameras is mentioned elsewhere.
Then it's no coincidence that the Paul Nadar's Detective camera has a similar Nadar name plate to your camera.
Nadar had met with George Eastman, they photographed each other, his son's camera is using Kodak roll film very early compared to competitors.
Searching in English is likely to throw up much information as Nadar was French few of the cameras he sold would have left the country. I'm sure if you looked in the French equivalent of the British Journal of Photography you'd find adverts for Nadar & his camera sales.