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Underwood, E.&T. | The "Exhibition". | Field camera. | 1887. | Half Plate.
Catalogue No. 0249.
Underwoods, at 130, Granville Street, Birmingham from 1885 to 1905, introduced their "Exhibition" camera in 1887, though this one, Art Nouveau styled, with a hint of Egyptian revival, differs from early advertising pictures, and is probably from the mid-1890s. The patent covers the method of folding, which uses a sliding front sub-frame and heavy brass sculpturally formed hinges to both the lens panel and rear body. These curvilinear hinges, hand-rebated into their woodwork, are of cast brass, which is unusual, if not unique. Several brass finger-screws enable sliding the front panel and rear body. It is not known if Underwoods had their own brass foundry, but even if they did, the retail price of the camera must have been influenced by the amount of brass castings and handwork involved.