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Korona Special “Presentation” Camera. 1903

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f64imager's loves10 of 479Album of 50 photographs 1896 to 1901Red Top Beer double-sided porcelain sign
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    Posted 9 months ago

    rniederman
    (337 items)

    I rephotographed this Korona Special (posted here 12 years ago) for my records because the original pictures are very low-rez (fuzzy) compared to what I can do today. The massive new hi-rez images (shot in raw format using focus stacking) have much better details and truer color rendition. So, I thought to share the new pictures and updated information.

    *********************

    This "Korona Special" is a unique, specially commissioned presentation camera. While most presentation models are typically average cameras with embellishments and a small dedication plaque, the builder of this camera wanted to make a statement.

    What would otherwise be a simple turn-of-the-century folding roll film camera is anything but that; and as seen here, the art of a craftsman is on full display with an extensively modified Gundlach Korona folding camera.

    Alterations are extensive. The exterior body has elegant floral motifs adorning the leather body panels instead of the usual pebbled leather. Upon closer examination, it is apparent the body is not covered with a thick, embossed leather hide that would have worn down after a century of handling.

    Instead, the sculptural leatherwork has a crisp look with some wear after 120 years. This was achieved by meticulously applying ornate reliefs to a thick wooden body and then pressing paper-thin leather into the reliefs. White metal corners - possibly German silver - add decorative detail.

    The interior’s changes include replacing a nickel-plated viewing hood on the bed mounted reflex finder with one made of copper and adding wood burl insets to the drop bed.

    All doors, two for loading and unloading roll film at the rear and the front facing drop bed, have small locks that need a key. The rear double-doors have blue velvet liners serving as a light trap. Otherwise, I cannot imagine why locks needing a key were added to secure the doors. (Loose the key and you're in trouble!)

    The camera top has odd and confusing carvings. Instead of staying with the botanical theme, the unknown builder sculpted perfectly rendered playing card suits (clubs, spades, diamonds and hearts) and a large five-pointed star beneath the carrying strap.

    The camera's intended purpose as a possible gift, award or personal memento will probably remain a mystery. But sometime in 1903, this one-of-a-kind camera was more than likely commissioned for a special reason.

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

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    Comments

    1. racer4four racer4four, 9 months ago
      That is a really beautiful camera. When I click on the pics the details are astonishing.
    2. rniederman rniederman, 9 months ago
      Thanks!
      leighannrn
      sanhardin
      fortapache
      kwqd
      dav2no1
      Ben
      chrissylovescats
      Beachbum58
      vetraio50
    3. rniederman rniederman, 8 months ago
      Thanks!
      AntigueToys
      f64imager
      Chevelleman69
      sugargirl
      mtg75
      oldpeep
      Daddy_Nobucks
      vintagegirl66
      Longings
      vintagelamp
      racer4four
      shughs
      farmlady
      BB2
      Cisum
      JohnK
      Lady_Picker
      rustyboltz
      Michael
      snowman3
      Walkingthefloor
    4. rniederman rniederman, 8 months ago
      Thanks!
      egreeley1976
      Sunmoon2679
      usedcarlady
      chrissylovescats
    5. Justlooken12, 7 months ago
      U have a very collection....
    6. rniederman rniederman, 7 months ago
      Thanks, Justlooken12!
    7. rniederman rniederman, 2 months ago
      Thanks, Sean!

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