Petite? Don't you mean patina Mike

The camera is very similar to a Dallmeyer 5x4 wet/dry plate camera & a couple of others, there are just some slight differences. That's a nice camera but not worth thousands unfortunately

There are still camera's out there that look almost new, with near perfect bellows despite being over 120 years old, these are the one's that fetch thousands. I looked at 3 or 4 pre 1900's cameras last week in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.

How much a manufacturer made themselves back then and what proportion was sub-contacted and then just assembled is mostly lost in history. BJP Almanacs for that era show that there were companies selling pre-made wood work and all the brass fittings ready for building a variety of camera types.

It's worth restoring sympathetically - by that I mean don't over restore trying to make it look new again, it's a shame you need to replace the bellows but that's not unusual unfortunately.

As to a Louis Gandolfi connection, that's more about where he learnt his skills than his possibly having any input to the design etc he was still under 20.

Ian