Posted 1 year ago
I have a soft-spot for American 1890s red bellows, self-casing cameras; and can identify the vast majority. Of course there are always a couple that refuse to be labeled.
The camera shown here is a puzzle. It has extraordinary craftsmanship and materials are first rate: Finely pebbled body leather, strong red leather bellows, robust brass hardware, huge German optical glass, and fine furniture quality wooden interior. There are also unique details and features not found in any maker's catalogue such as an innovative brass rear extension with full swings and tilts.
Based on the construction and design, the camera probably dates to c.1899. Yet I’ve stared at it for years and unable to find a reference.
Which factory produced this camera and what model name was intended for the blank brass plaque? Why all the subtle attention to detail such as wood turned 45 degrees to increase strength and a parquet panel bed for warp resistance?
I might not know the answers today, but maybe someday the maker will be found.