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Lancaster’s Stereo Instantograph, c.1891

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Camera_turk's likes11 of 21Woolley Sons & Co., James. | "The No.2 Victoria Outfit." | 1889. | Half Plate.Scovill & Adams Compact View Camera, c.1892
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    Posted 7 years ago

    rniederman
    (319 items)

    Oh my ... when British builders get down to business, their cameras are positively unequaled in terms of construction fussiness. Here is a stunning Stereo Instantograph by J. Lancaster & Son (Birmingham, England).

    I grudgingly sold this camera a long time ago. A collector and good friend passed through the Midwest years back and stopped by to see my collection ... one look at the camera and he melted at the sight of the incredibly polished wood and amazingly rare blue leather bellows. The camera was literally unblemished and it amazes me to this day how it stayed in such pristine condition.

    You cannot see it in the image, but English builders align all the screw heads to face in a single direction and the reinforced brass hardware (including screws) are seamlessly flush with the wood surface... how do they do that!? The photograph – unfortunately – was made at a time when digital cameras were really bad and fine details cannot be seen.

    Lancaster was founded as a spectacle maker and optician in 1835 and later became involved in photographic goods around 1876 or a few years earlier. In 1882, the company introduced three series of dry-plate field cameras, the Le Merveilleux, Le Meritore, and Instantograph -- there were also stereo versions of each. The Instantograph was the most advanced of the three camera series.

    Even today, the collector reminds me of his love for this camera. And I have to admit, it is missed.

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    Comments

    1. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      Beautiful Rob! very very nice craftmenship on this!
    2. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, Ben!
    3. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, aghcollect!
    4. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Added an 1890s advertisement for the Stereo Instantograph.
    5. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, tom61375!
    6. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, vetraio50!
    7. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, Phil and good story!
    8. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, blunderbuss2!
    9. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, AntigueToys!
    10. Signaholic Signaholic, 7 years ago
      Man, the one that got away from ya Rob! I guess you wanted to let it go at the time but I can surely see why you wish you still owned it. Detail in antiques has always driven my wife and I, in our searchings.
    11. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, Perry! There's actually more to the story and you are correct that I wanted to let it go. I am constantly refining my vision and years back settled on four core collecting themes. It's never been my intent to have a large collection, just a grouping rare and historically interesting pieces. Additionally, space got a bit tight - a common malady for collectors ... no? The Lancaster and nearly all other European cameras were sold after I made a decision to cull back to American cameras. There's nothing wrong with European cameras; I was simply running out of room. And yes, parting with some of the really great pieces was a bit painful. The good news is that the Stereo Instantograph is in a really good collection. In the end, it worked out for everyone.
    12. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, Michael!
    13. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, Sean!
    14. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      Your very welcome Rob!!!!
    15. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, Eric!
    16. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, leighannrn!
    17. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, chrissylovescats!
    18. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, crswerner!
    19. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, John K!
    20. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, michaeln544!
    21. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, David!
    22. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, egreeley1976!
    23. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, sugargirl!
    24. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, kjdixo!
    25. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, f64imager!
    26. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, catteann!
    27. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, Designer!
    28. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, Leah!
    29. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, fortapache!
    30. rniederman rniederman, 7 years ago
      Thanks, sobota!
    31. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
      Thanks, Camera_turk!

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