Nadar's plate camera. A museum piece or just another restoration project?
If you saw this thread on the LF forum, it's the same old dog with a different collar. Just looking to get extra mileage where possible. ;-)
So, I took delivery of a circa 1883 "Sands & Hunter's Exhibition Camera" today. (5x4). I was hoping to just unwrap it, and get right to using it. But to my surprise I found it to be in very original condition. Too original for comfort. So now the question arises . . . Should I restore it to functional condition so that I can use it, or should I start calling the museums and auction houses?
I am inclined to just restore it with the correct lens and a functional bellows. But if that's going to knock 20 grand off it's value, maybe I'll think it over first.
Circa 1883 Sands & Hunter's Exhibition Camera; 3 plate holders, book type, all serial/model numbers matching the camera serial/model number (#446); One holder still contains two unique patented paper holders that were inserted while emulsions were still wet. Papers appear to be hand-coated albumen.
Both embedded name plaques on the chassis appear to be an engraved ivory type material.
Here are some images of the camera in question. This should take just a few seconds to load.
The original advertisement for camera . . . for those who have access to google books.
And a special note for this case: It is noted in "The studios of Europe" by Pritchard 1882 that Nadar (fils) said , quote . . . "I am coming to London in a little while, and for no other reason than to purchase instruments and apparatus.".
He was speaking on the high quality of the English apparatus. This may be one of those purchases?? As far as I know this camera was new on the market as of 1883.
Oh! And I nearly forgot . . . I also read that Louis Gandolfi made cameras for some of these London distributors ('80-'85) prior to spinning off to be an independent. Could this be one of his cameras? More research is definitely required. But, if anyone can supply more information to substantiate or discount the rumor, it would be very much appreciated.
Enjoy! All thoughts are welcome.