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Re: For sale: rare 1886 Benster diaphragm shutter and big brass B&L Special Rapid Portrait lens

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  • ericevans2000
    Come on in. The first forty years are the worst. We are all still learning. Why not introduce yourself? Eric.
    Message 1 of 18 , Nov 21, 2012
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      Come on in. The first forty years are the worst. We are all still learning. Why not introduce yourself?
      Eric.

      --- In woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com, voncabbage@... wrote:
      >
      > sorry..........i'm new to this
      > i cannot tell the difference (yet)
      >
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: F West <gryku@...>
      > To: woodandbrass <woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 2:46 pm
      > Subject: Re: [woodandbrass] For sale: rare 1886 Benster diaphragm shutter and big brass B&L Special Rapid Portrait lens
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Hello, I don't understand this "right back at you". I don't see any relevance. They are completely different items, a 19th century rarity in David's possession and some sort of regrettable cobbled together oddity on eBay from decades later. What do you mean? I'm puzzled. Good day, Frank West
      >
      > --- On Tue, 11/20/12, voncabbage@... <voncabbage@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > From: voncabbage@... <voncabbage@...>
      > Subject: Re: [woodandbrass] For sale: rare 1886 Benster diaphragm shutter and big brass B&L Special Rapid Portrait lens
      > To: woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 6:26 PM
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > right back at you
      >
      >
      > http://www.ebay.com/itm/Darlot-Lens-With-Wollensak-Shutter-Very-Unusual-/321025067526?pt=US_Vintage_Cameras&hash=item4abe95ca06
      >
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: David Silver <silver@...>
      > To: woodandbrass <woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 12:34 pm
      > Subject: [woodandbrass] For sale: rare 1886 Benster diaphragm shutter and big brass B&L Special Rapid Portrait lens
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Hello everybody,
      >
      > Here's an especially rare and historically significant piece for the wood
      > and brass fanciers. A Benster diaphragm shutter (US patent #339,731 from
      > April 13, 1886) installed in an impressive big brass Bausch & Lomb Special
      > Rapid Portrait Series C lens for 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch format, engraved for
      > sale through Ralph J. Golsen of Chicago. Seriously, rare as hen's teeth.
      > I think I've only seen three Benster shutters in my nearly 40 years of
      > collecting, and this one is exceptional. Take a look:
      >
      > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster1.jpg
      > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster2.jpg
      > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster3.jpg
      > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster4.jpg
      > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster5.jpg
      >
      > The shutter works smoothly (manually operating the piston...I haven't
      > attached a tube and bulb to it), it opens and closes exactly as it should,
      > and the iris blades are perfect. The lens is a beauty. Other than the
      > soft dent to the front hood, it's in excellent overall condition with
      > clean optics and clean glass surfaces, very attractive patina to the
      > brass, and it comes with the original mounting flange. Wow!
      >
      > I'm asking $1750, and I'll cover the cost of shipping to any location in
      > the world. Contact me directly at silver@... if you're interested.
      > If nobody responds in the next day or so, it's off to eBay, but I'd much
      > rather see a friend acquire this rarity. Fingers crossed...
      >
      > Best wishes,
      >
      > David Silver - President
      > International Photographic Historical Organization
      > E-mail: silver@... Telephone: (415) 681-4356
      > Web site: http://www.photographyhistory.com
      >
    • John Rushton
      Hi All, This is a copy of one of my posts to the IDCC Forum. Marcel has asked me to share it with you too. So here goes! Message starts: Now, you must
      Message 2 of 18 , Nov 26, 2012
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        Hi All,

         

        This is a copy of one of my posts to the IDCC Forum. Marcel has asked me to share it with you too. So here goes!

         

        Message starts:

         

        Now, you must understand that I am not normally into handbags, but I bought a 'handbag camera' of unknown maker's name at the SAS Auction recently. However, it did have a retailer's name plate on it. The description in the auctioneers catalogue was as follows:

         A black morocco leather-covered pale mahogany and nickel plated brass half-plate 'handbag' Field Camera, with Dallmeyer 6½ x 4¾ Rapid Rectilinear brass lens, with retail plate for 'Robertson's Photo Stores 5 Castle Arcade Cardiff' the camera covered in grained and lined morocco-leather with folding handle to top and leather flap over focusing screen with bag type latch, two matching dds and one non-matching, G, lens F-G, some tarnishing to metal work

         

        The camera is shown at the link below. I hope to show some images of the rear of the camera later.

         

        http://tinyurl.com/9dewtkx

         

        Images added:

         

        http://tinyurl.com/bpdt6va

         

        http://tinyurl.com/bpdt6va

         

        http://tinyurl.com/cknnx96

         

        http://tinyurl.com/bqc3zl2

         

         

        The back, and the edges of the base, are covered in Morocco leather and there is a flap and catch  to cover the focusing screen as maybe found on a satchel type handbag. The outer base is not covered in leather. If one were to carry the camera in its folded state with base side facing one's body then the camera would look like a handbag/satchel, not a camera.

         

        I am searching for information on this camera and I would appreciate some help in identifying it. Do any members know what make and date it is?

         

        The concept of handbag cameras was presumably to minimise people's suspicions as to the taking of photographs containing people in the early days of hand cameras before people generally became used to candid photography. Isn't it interesting that there is still sensitivity in this present era of people having their photographs taken in public places.

         

        One of the most famous, but unaffordable, handbag cameras was the Certo camera shown at the links below. 

         

        http://collectiblend.com/Cameras/images/Certo-Damen-Kamera.jpg

         

        http://collectiblend.com/Cameras/images/Certo-Damen-Kamera_1.jpg

         

        So, has anyone got any information on my camera for me please?

         

        Also, have any members got any deeper insight into the use and popularity of handbag cameras?

         

        End of previous message.

         

        Since the above message was placed on IDCC I have shown the camera to experienced wood and brass collectors at two PCCGB meetings, plus the curator at the National Media Museum, Bradford, England, and no one has seen one before. One collector thought that the tripod ring on the base looked very much like the one he had on a Lancaster camera.

         

        At this stage the camera is considered to have been made in the 1890’s. The serial number stamped into the wood, which can be seen when the back is removed, is ‘2’.

         

        Coincidentally, while attending an antique fair very recently, I spotted a ladies shoulder bag on a sales table, which looks very much like the rear side of the camera. Please see the following link.

         

        http://tinyurl.com/bwl5nmb

         

        I am beginning to think that this camera was a prototype, maybe with a view to make a more stylish camera.

         

        Best Wishes,

         

        John

         

      • Eric Evans
        Hi John, A bit away from your point, as I am unable to say much about your handbag camera, but after living 82 years without seeing any reference to Robertsons
        Message 3 of 18 , Nov 26, 2012
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          Hi John,
                     A bit away from your point, as I am unable to say much about your handbag camera, but after living 82 years without seeing any reference to Robertsons of Cardiff, I bought a W&B camera for spares with their nameplate on it on the 4th of November and now yours turns up. Like buses.............
              Knowing how 19th C. makers used to carefully observe one another's products, I think it is quite likely that your camera and the Certo camera were not made that far apart in date? These things tended to go in fashions, and if people didn't follow what was going on, they soon went out of business. I'd cite many examples of bankruptcy I have found in researching W&B cameras. The fact that yours is not all that cunningly disguised in totality, suggests that possibly it was early in the trend; a prototype sounds feasible.
              Equally, at a point in time which I have never been able to establish, even with the help of this austere group, black leather covering for even polished mahogany cameras (quite suddenly, it seems), became not only acceptable, but essential if goods were to be sold to a fickle public. Whatever that date was, your camera may well have been on the cusp of it.
          Eric.
        • GEORGELAYNE@AOL.COM
          Did we not go over this in detail about a month ago? Thee are several emails about it. George Layne ... From: John Rushton To:
          Message 4 of 18 , Nov 26, 2012
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            Did we not go over this in detail about a month ago?
             
            Thee are several emails about it.
             
            George Layne
            -----Original Message-----
            From: John Rushton <jcr_cameras@...>
            To: woodandbrass <woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 8:46 am
            Subject: [woodandbrass] Handbag Camera?

             
            Hi All,
             
            This is a copy of one of my posts to the IDCC Forum. Marcel has asked me to share it with you too. So here goes!
             
            Message starts:
             
            Now, you must understand that I am not normally into handbags, but I bought a 'handbag camera' of unknown maker's name at the SAS Auction recently. However, it did have a retailer's name plate on it. The description in the auctioneers catalogue was as follows:
             A black morocco leather-covered pale mahogany and nickel plated brass half-plate 'handbag' Field Camera, with Dallmeyer 6½ x 4¾ Rapid Rectilinear brass lens, with retail plate for 'Robertson's Photo Stores 5 Castle Arcade Cardiff' the camera covered in grained and lined morocco-leather with folding handle to top and leather flap over focusing screen with bag type latch, two matching dds and one non-matching, G, lens F-G, some tarnishing to metal work
             
            The camera is shown at the link below. I hope to show some images of the rear of the camera later.
             
             
            Images added:
             
             
             
             
             
             
            The back, and the edges of the base, are covered in Morocco leather and there is a flap and catch  to cover the focusing screen as maybe found on a satchel type handbag. The outer base is not covered in leather. If one were to carry the camera in its folded state with base side facing one's body then the camera would look like a handbag/satchel, not a camera.
             
            I am searching for information on this camera and I would appreciate some help in identifying it. Do any members know what make and date it is?
             
            The concept of handbag cameras was presumably to minimise people's suspicions as to the taking of photographs containing people in the early days of hand cameras before people generally became used to candid photography. Isn't it interesting that there is still sensitivity in this present era of people having their photographs taken in public places.
             
            One of the most famous, but unaffordable, handbag cameras was the Certo camera shown at the links below. 
             
             
             
            So, has anyone got any information on my camera for me please?
             
            Also, have any members got any deeper insight into the use and popularity of handbag cameras?
             
            End of previous message.
             
            Since the above message was placed on IDCC I have shown the camera to experienced wood and brass collectors at two PCCGB meetings, plus the curator at the National Media Museum, Bradford, England, and no one has seen one before. One collector thought that the tripod ring on the base looked very much like the one he had on a Lancaster camera.
             
            At this stage the camera is considered to have been made in the 1890’s. The serial number stamped into the wood, which can be seen when the back is removed, is ‘2’.
             
            Coincidentally, while attending an antique fair very recently, I spotted a ladies shoulder bag on a sales table, which looks very much like the rear side of the camera. Please see the following link.
             
             
            I am beginning to think that this camera was a prototype, maybe with a view to make a more stylish camera.
             
            Best Wishes,
             
            John
             
          • Eric Evans
            Hi George, Yes I believe we did discuss it on the IDCC forum, but John has opened it up for further discussion by the Wood and Brass group. Material then gets
            Message 5 of 18 , Nov 26, 2012
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              Hi George,
                             Yes I believe we did discuss it on the IDCC forum, but John has opened it up for further discussion by the Wood and Brass group. Material then gets displayed on both Wood and Brass and IDCC. Not trying to be patronising but maybe you didn't know that. My apologies if you did.
              Regards,
              Eric.
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Monday, November 26, 2012 3:21 PM
              Subject: Re: [woodandbrass] Handbag Camera?

               

              Did we not go over this in detail about a month ago?
               
              Thee are several emails about it.
               
              George Layne
              -----Original Message-----
              From: John Rushton <jcr_cameras@...>
              To: woodandbrass <woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 8:46 am
              Subject: [woodandbrass] Handbag Camera?

               
              Hi All,
               
              This is a copy of one of my posts to the IDCC Forum. Marcel has asked me to share it with you too. So here goes!
               
              Message starts:
               
              Now, you must understand that I am not normally into handbags, but I bought a 'handbag camera' of unknown maker's name at the SAS Auction recently. However, it did have a retailer's name plate on it. The description in the auctioneers catalogue was as follows:
               A black morocco leather-covered pale mahogany and nickel plated brass half-plate 'handbag' Field Camera, with Dallmeyer 6½ x 4¾ Rapid Rectilinear brass lens, with retail plate for 'Robertson's Photo Stores 5 Castle Arcade Cardiff' the camera covered in grained and lined morocco-leather with folding handle to top and leather flap over focusing screen with bag type latch, two matching dds and one non-matching, G, lens F-G, some tarnishing to metal work
               
              The camera is shown at the link below. I hope to show some images of the rear of the camera later.
               
               
              Images added:
               
               
               
               
               
               
              The back, and the edges of the base, are covered in Morocco leather and there is a flap and catch  to cover the focusing screen as maybe found on a satchel type handbag. The outer base is not covered in leather. If one were to carry the camera in its folded state with base side facing one's body then the camera would look like a handbag/satchel, not a camera.
               
              I am searching for information on this camera and I would appreciate some help in identifying it. Do any members know what make and date it is?
               
              The concept of handbag cameras was presumably to minimise people's suspicions as to the taking of photographs containing people in the early days of hand cameras before people generally became used to candid photography. Isn't it interesting that there is still sensitivity in this present era of people having their photographs taken in public places.
               
              One of the most famous, but unaffordable, handbag cameras was the Certo camera shown at the links below. 
               
               
               
              So, has anyone got any information on my camera for me please?
               
              Also, have any members got any deeper insight into the use and popularity of handbag cameras?
               
              End of previous message.
               
              Since the above message was placed on IDCC I have shown the camera to experienced wood and brass collectors at two PCCGB meetings, plus the curator at the National Media Museum, Bradford, England, and no one has seen one before. One collector thought that the tripod ring on the base looked very much like the one he had on a Lancaster camera.
               
              At this stage the camera is considered to have been made in the 1890’s. The serial number stamped into the wood, which can be seen when the back is removed, is ‘2’.
               
              Coincidentally, while attending an antique fair very recently, I spotted a ladies shoulder bag on a sales table, which looks very much like the rear side of the camera. Please see the following link.
               
               
              I am beginning to think that this camera was a prototype, maybe with a view to make a more stylish camera.
              Best Wishes,
               
              John
               

            • Maren /Fred Friedman
              I wonder if the idea was simply to appeal to female photographers by adding the leather and the handbag like catch. The camera would seem to be tripod needed -
              Message 6 of 18 , Nov 26, 2012
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                I wonder if the idea was simply to appeal to female photographers by adding the leather and the handbag like catch. The camera would seem to be tripod needed - not a hand camera. I have an aluminium mounted Pocket Instantograph with decorated, embossed aluminium in a very pretty leaf and vine pattern. Very scarce, apparently. Why a decorated aluminium? I suspect as an appeal to female photographers. These cameras - yours and mine may simply be a test run in an attempt to broaden the market and sell more cameras. Don't think it worked! If anyone else has a decorated aluminium mounted example, please let me know.
                Cheers,
                Fred in sunny, gorgeous Cliffside Park, NJ
                On Nov 26, 2012, at 8:36 AM, John Rushton wrote:

                 

                Hi All,

                 

                This is a copy of one of my posts to the IDCC Forum. Marcel has asked me to share it with you too. So here goes!

                 

                Message starts:

                 

                Now, you must understand that I am not normally into handbags, but I bought a 'handbag camera' of unknown maker's name at the SAS Auction recently. However, it did have a retailer's name plate on it. The description in the auctioneers catalogue was as follows:

                 A black morocco leather-covered pale mahogany and nickel plated brass half-plate 'handbag' Field Camera, with Dallmeyer 6½ x 4¾ Rapid Rectilinear brass lens, with retail plate for 'Robertson's Photo Stores 5 Castle Arcade Cardiff' the camera covered in grained and lined morocco-leather with folding handle to top and leather flap over focusing screen with bag type latch, two matching dds and one non-matching, G, lens F-G, some tarnishing to metal work

                 

                The camera is shown at the link below. I hope to show some images of the rear of the camera later.

                 

                http://tinyurl.com/9dewtkx

                 

                Images added:

                 

                http://tinyurl.com/bpdt6va

                 

                http://tinyurl.com/bpdt6va

                 

                http://tinyurl.com/cknnx96

                 

                http://tinyurl.com/bqc3zl2

                 

                 

                The back, and the edges of the base, are covered in Morocco leather and there is a flap and catch  to cover the focusing screen as maybe found on a satchel type handbag. The outer base is not covered in leather. If one were to carry the camera in its folded state with base side facing one's body then the camera would look like a handbag/satchel, not a camera.

                 

                I am searching for information on this camera and I would appreciate some help in identifying it. Do any members know what make and date it is?

                 

                The concept of handbag cameras was presumably to minimise people's suspicions as to the taking of photographs containing people in the early days of hand cameras before people generally became used to candid photography. Isn't it interesting that there is still sensitivity in this present era of people having their photographs taken in public places.

                 

                One of the most famous, but unaffordable, handbag cameras was the Certo camera shown at the links below. 

                 

                http://collectiblend.com/Cameras/images/Certo-Damen-Kamera.jpg

                 

                http://collectiblend.com/Cameras/images/Certo-Damen-Kamera_1.jpg

                 

                So, has anyone got any information on my camera for me please?

                 

                Also, have any members got any deeper insight into the use and popularity of handbag cameras?

                 

                End of previous message.

                 

                Since the above message was placed on IDCC I have shown the camera to experienced wood and brass collectors at two PCCGB meetings, plus the curator at the National Media Museum, Bradford, England, and no one has seen one before. One collector thought that the tripod ring on the base looked very much like the one he had on a Lancaster camera.

                 

                At this stage the camera is considered to have been made in the 1890’s. The serial number stamped into the wood, which can be seen when the back is removed, is ‘2’.

                 

                Coincidentally, while attending an antique fair very recently, I spotted a ladies shoulder bag on a sales table, which looks very much like the rear side of the camera. Please see the following link.

                 

                http://tinyurl.com/bwl5nmb

                 

                I am beginning to think that this camera was a prototype, maybe with a view to make a more stylish camera.

                 

                Best Wishes,

                 

                John

                 



              • Eric Evans
                George, And I might have got hat last reply wrong.........anyway it appears on my computer and on the wood and brass site. I am not a computer wizz. Regards,
                Message 7 of 18 , Nov 26, 2012
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                  George,
                             And I might have got hat last reply wrong.........anyway it appears on my computer and on the wood and brass site. I am not a computer wizz.
                  Regards,
                  Eric.
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Monday, November 26, 2012 3:21 PM
                  Subject: Re: [woodandbrass] Handbag Camera?

                   

                  Did we not go over this in detail about a month ago?
                   
                  Thee are several emails about it.
                   
                  George Layne
                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: John Rushton <jcr_cameras@...>
                  To: woodandbrass <woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 8:46 am
                  Subject: [woodandbrass] Handbag Camera?

                   
                  Hi All,
                   
                  This is a copy of one of my posts to the IDCC Forum. Marcel has asked me to share it with you too. So here goes!
                   
                  Message starts:
                   
                  Now, you must understand that I am not normally into handbags, but I bought a 'handbag camera' of unknown maker's name at the SAS Auction recently. However, it did have a retailer's name plate on it. The description in the auctioneers catalogue was as follows:
                   A black morocco leather-covered pale mahogany and nickel plated brass half-plate 'handbag' Field Camera, with Dallmeyer 6½ x 4¾ Rapid Rectilinear brass lens, with retail plate for 'Robertson's Photo Stores 5 Castle Arcade Cardiff' the camera covered in grained and lined morocco-leather with folding handle to top and leather flap over focusing screen with bag type latch, two matching dds and one non-matching, G, lens F-G, some tarnishing to metal work
                   
                  The camera is shown at the link below. I hope to show some images of the rear of the camera later.
                   
                   
                  Images added:
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                  The back, and the edges of the base, are covered in Morocco leather and there is a flap and catch  to cover the focusing screen as maybe found on a satchel type handbag. The outer base is not covered in leather. If one were to carry the camera in its folded state with base side facing one's body then the camera would look like a handbag/satchel, not a camera.
                   
                  I am searching for information on this camera and I would appreciate some help in identifying it. Do any members know what make and date it is?
                   
                  The concept of handbag cameras was presumably to minimise people's suspicions as to the taking of photographs containing people in the early days of hand cameras before people generally became used to candid photography. Isn't it interesting that there is still sensitivity in this present era of people having their photographs taken in public places.
                   
                  One of the most famous, but unaffordable, handbag cameras was the Certo camera shown at the links below. 
                   
                   
                   
                  So, has anyone got any information on my camera for me please?
                   
                  Also, have any members got any deeper insight into the use and popularity of handbag cameras?
                   
                  End of previous message.
                   
                  Since the above message was placed on IDCC I have shown the camera to experienced wood and brass collectors at two PCCGB meetings, plus the curator at the National Media Museum, Bradford, England, and no one has seen one before. One collector thought that the tripod ring on the base looked very much like the one he had on a Lancaster camera.
                   
                  At this stage the camera is considered to have been made in the 1890’s. The serial number stamped into the wood, which can be seen when the back is removed, is ‘2’.
                   
                  Coincidentally, while attending an antique fair very recently, I spotted a ladies shoulder bag on a sales table, which looks very much like the rear side of the camera. Please see the following link.
                   
                   
                  I am beginning to think that this camera was a prototype, maybe with a view to make a more stylish camera.
                  Best Wishes,
                   
                  John
                   

                • GEORGELAYNE@AOL.COM
                  No, I didn t realize that, but it might be helpful if someone started the discussion by sending Marcel the prior emails on the subject. George ... From: Eric
                  Message 8 of 18 , Nov 26, 2012
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                    No, I didn't realize that, but it might be helpful if someone started the discussion by sending Marcel the prior emails on the subject.
                     
                    George
                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Eric Evans <ericevans2@...>
                    To: woodandbrass <woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 10:45 am
                    Subject: Re: [woodandbrass] Handbag Camera?

                     
                    
                    Hi George,
                                   Yes I believe we did discuss it on the IDCC forum, but John has opened it up for further discussion by the Wood and Brass group. Material then gets displayed on both Wood and Brass and IDCC. Not trying to be patronising but maybe you didn't know that. My apologies if you did.
                    Regards,
                    Eric.
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Monday, November 26, 2012 3:21 PM
                    Subject: Re: [woodandbrass] Handbag Camera?

                     
                    Did we not go over this in detail about a month ago?
                     
                    Thee are several emails about it.
                     
                    George Layne
                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: John Rushton <jcr_cameras@...>
                    To: woodandbrass <woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 8:46 am
                    Subject: [woodandbrass] Handbag Camera?

                     
                    Hi All,
                     
                    This is a copy of one of my posts to the IDCC Forum. Marcel has asked me to share it with you too. So here goes!
                     
                    Message starts:
                     
                    Now, you must understand that I am not normally into handbags, but I bought a 'handbag camera' of unknown maker's name at the SAS Auction recently. However, it did have a retailer's name plate on it. The description in the auctioneers catalogue was as follows:
                     A black morocco leather-covered pale mahogany and nickel plated brass half-plate 'handbag' Field Camera, with Dallmeyer 6½ x 4¾ Rapid Rectilinear brass lens, with retail plate for 'Robertson's Photo Stores 5 Castle Arcade Cardiff' the camera covered in grained and lined morocco-leather with folding handle to top and leather flap over focusing screen with bag type latch, two matching dds and one non-matching, G, lens F-G, some tarnishing to metal work
                     
                    The camera is shown at the link below. I hope to show some images of the rear of the camera later.
                     
                     
                    Images added:
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                    The back, and the edges of the base, are covered in Morocco leather and there is a flap and catch  to cover the focusing screen as maybe found on a satchel type handbag. The outer base is not covered in leather. If one were to carry the camera in its folded state with base side facing one's body then the camera would look like a handbag/satchel, not a camera.
                     
                    I am searching for information on this camera and I would appreciate some help in identifying it. Do any members know what make and date it is?
                     
                    The concept of handbag cameras was presumably to minimise people's suspicions as to the taking of photographs containing people in the early days of hand cameras before people generally became used to candid photography. Isn't it interesting that there is still sensitivity in this present era of people having their photographs taken in public places.
                     
                    One of the most famous, but unaffordable, handbag cameras was the Certo camera shown at the links below. 
                     
                     
                     
                    So, has anyone got any information on my camera for me please?
                     
                    Also, have any members got any deeper insight into the use and popularity of handbag cameras?
                     
                    End of previous message.
                     
                    Since the above message was placed on IDCC I have shown the camera to experienced wood and brass collectors at two PCCGB meetings, plus the curator at the National Media Museum, Bradford, England, and no one has seen one before. One collector thought that the tripod ring on the base looked very much like the one he had on a Lancaster camera.
                     
                    At this stage the camera is considered to have been made in the 1890’s. The serial number stamped into the wood, which can be seen when the back is removed, is ‘2’.
                     
                    Coincidentally, while attending an antique fair very recently, I spotted a ladies shoulder bag on a sales table, which looks very much like the rear side of the camera. Please see the following link.
                     
                     
                    I am beginning to think that this camera was a prototype, maybe with a view to make a more stylish camera.
                    Best Wishes,
                     
                    John
                     
                  • Eric Evans
                    Fred, I saw a decorated aluminium bound Lancaster on e bay once, so unless you got that one there are at least two of them in existence. Regards, Eric. ...
                    Message 9 of 18 , Nov 26, 2012
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                      Fred,
                      I saw a decorated aluminium bound Lancaster on e bay once, so unless you got that one there are at least two of them in existence.
                      Regards,
                      Eric.
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Monday, November 26, 2012 3:41 PM
                      Subject: Re: [woodandbrass] Handbag Camera?

                       

                      I wonder if the idea was simply to appeal to female photographers by adding the leather and the handbag like catch. The camera would seem to be tripod needed - not a hand camera. I have an aluminium mounted Pocket Instantograph with decorated, embossed aluminium in a very pretty leaf and vine pattern. Very scarce, apparently. Why a decorated aluminium? I suspect as an appeal to female photographers. These cameras - yours and mine may simply be a test run in an attempt to broaden the market and sell more cameras. Don't think it worked! If anyone else has a decorated aluminium mounted example, please let me know.

                      Cheers,
                      Fred in sunny, gorgeous Cliffside Park, NJ
                      On Nov 26, 2012, at 8:36 AM, John Rushton wrote:

                       

                      Hi All,

                      This is a copy of one of my posts to the IDCC Forum. Marcel has asked me to share it with you too. So here goes!

                      Message starts:

                      Now, you must understand that I am not normally into handbags, but I bought a 'handbag camera' of unknown maker's name at the SAS Auction recently. However, it did have a retailer's name plate on it. The description in the auctioneers catalogue was as follows:

                       A black morocco leather-covered pale mahogany and nickel plated brass half-plate 'handbag' Field Camera, with Dallmeyer 6½ x 4¾ Rapid Rectilinear brass lens, with retail plate for 'Robertson's Photo Stores 5 Castle Arcade Cardiff' the camera covered in grained and lined morocco-leather with folding handle to top and leather flap over focusing screen with bag type latch, two matching dds and one non-matching, G, lens F-G, some tarnishing to metal work

                      The camera is shown at the link below. I hope to show some images of the rear of the camera later.

                      http://tinyurl.com/9dewtkx

                      Images added:

                      http://tinyurl.com/bpdt6va

                      http://tinyurl.com/bpdt6va

                      http://tinyurl.com/cknnx96

                      http://tinyurl.com/bqc3zl2

                      The back, and the edges of the base, are covered in Morocco leather and there is a flap and catch  to cover the focusing screen as maybe found on a satchel type handbag. The outer base is not covered in leather. If one were to carry the camera in its folded state with base side facing one's body then the camera would look like a handbag/satchel, not a camera.

                      I am searching for information on this camera and I would appreciate some help in identifying it. Do any members know what make and date it is?

                      The concept of handbag cameras was presumably to minimise people's suspicions as to the taking of photographs containing people in the early days of hand cameras before people generally became used to candid photography. Isn't it interesting that there is still sensitivity in this present era of people having their photographs taken in public places.

                      One of the most famous, but unaffordable, handbag cameras was the Certo camera shown at the links below. 

                      http://collectiblend.com/Cameras/images/Certo-Damen-Kamera.jpg

                      http://collectiblend.com/Cameras/images/Certo-Damen-Kamera_1.jpg

                      So, has anyone got any information on my camera for me please?

                      Also, have any members got any deeper insight into the use and popularity of handbag cameras?

                      End of previous message.

                      Since the above message was placed on IDCC I have shown the camera to experienced wood and brass collectors at two PCCGB meetings, plus the curator at the National Media Museum, Bradford, England, and no one has seen one before. One collector thought that the tripod ring on the base looked very much like the one he had on a Lancaster camera.

                      At this stage the camera is considered to have been made in the 1890’s. The serial number stamped into the wood, which can be seen when the back is removed, is ‘2’.

                      Coincidentally, while attending an antique fair very recently, I spotted a ladies shoulder bag on a sales table, which looks very much like the rear side of the camera. Please see the following link.

                      http://tinyurl.com/bwl5nmb

                      I am beginning to think that this camera was a prototype, maybe with a view to make a more stylish camera.

                       

                      Best Wishes,

                      John



                    • voncabbage@aol.com
                      does anybody know anything about this? http://www.ebay.com/itm/330835103475?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649 ... From: ericevans2000
                      Message 10 of 18 , Dec 5, 2012
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                        does anybody know anything about this?

                        http://www.ebay.com/itm/330835103475?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649


                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: ericevans2000 <ericevans2@...>
                        To: woodandbrass <woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Wed, Nov 21, 2012 6:45 am
                        Subject: [woodandbrass] Re: For sale: rare 1886 Benster diaphragm shutter and big brass B&L Special Rapid Portrait lens

                         
                        Come on in. The first forty years are the worst. We are all still learning. Why not introduce yourself?
                        Eric.

                        --- In woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com, voncabbage@... wrote:
                        >
                        > sorry..........i'm new to this
                        > i cannot tell the difference (yet)
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: F West <gryku@...>
                        > To: woodandbrass <woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com>
                        > Sent: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 2:46 pm
                        > Subject: Re: [woodandbrass] For sale: rare 1886 Benster diaphragm shutter and big brass B&L Special Rapid Portrait lens
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Hello, I don't understand this "right back at you". I don't see any relevance. They are completely different items, a 19th century rarity in David's possession and some sort of regrettable cobbled together oddity on eBay from decades later. What do you mean? I'm puzzled. Good day, Frank West
                        >
                        > --- On Tue, 11/20/12, voncabbage@... <voncabbage@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > From: voncabbage@... <voncabbage@...>
                        > Subject: Re: [woodandbrass] For sale: rare 1886 Benster diaphragm shutter and big brass B&L Special Rapid Portrait lens
                        > To: woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com
                        > Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 6:26 PM
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > right back at you
                        >
                        >
                        > http://www.ebay.com/itm/Darlot-Lens-With-Wollensak-Shutter-Very-Unusual-/321025067526?pt=US_Vintage_Cameras&hash=item4abe95ca06
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: David Silver <silver@...>
                        > To: woodandbrass <woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com>
                        > Sent: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 12:34 pm
                        > Subject: [woodandbrass] For sale: rare 1886 Benster diaphragm shutter and big brass B&L Special Rapid Portrait lens
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Hello everybody,
                        >
                        > Here's an especially rare and historically significant piece for the wood
                        > and brass fanciers. A Benster diaphragm shutter (US patent #339,731 from
                        > April 13, 1886) installed in an impressive big brass Bausch & Lomb Special
                        > Rapid Portrait Series C lens for 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch format, engraved for
                        > sale through Ralph J. Golsen of Chicago. Seriously, rare as hen's teeth.
                        > I think I've only seen three Benster shutters in my nearly 40 years of
                        > collecting, and this one is exceptional. Take a look:
                        >
                        > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster1.jpg
                        > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster2.jpg
                        > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster3.jpg
                        > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster4.jpg
                        > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster5.jpg
                        >
                        > The shutter works smoothly (manually operating the piston...I haven't
                        > attached a tube and bulb to it), it opens and closes exactly as it should,
                        > and the iris blades are perfect. The lens is a beauty. Other than the
                        > soft dent to the front hood, it's in excellent overall condition with
                        > clean optics and clean glass surfaces, very attractive patina to the
                        > brass, and it comes with the original mounting flange. Wow!
                        >
                        > I'm asking $1750, and I'll cover the cost of shipping to any location in
                        > the world. Contact me directly at silver@... if you're interested.
                        > If nobody responds in the next day or so, it's off to eBay, but I'd much
                        > rather see a friend acquire this rarity. Fingers crossed...
                        >
                        > Best wishes,
                        >
                        > David Silver - President
                        > International Photographic Historical Organization
                        > E-mail: silver@... Telephone: (415) 681-4356
                        > Web site: http://www.photographyhistory.com
                        >

                      • Maren /Fred Friedman
                        Interesting camera. But it doesn t look British to me. French? No info on lenses given nor any info on dovetailing, etc. Fred
                        Message 11 of 18 , Dec 5, 2012
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Interesting camera. But it doesn't look British to me. French? No info on lenses given nor any info on dovetailing, etc.
                          Fred
                          On Dec 5, 2012, at 9:57 AM, voncabbage@... wrote:

                           

                          does anybody know anything about this?


                          http://www.ebay.com/itm/330835103475?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649


                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: ericevans2000 <ericevans2@...>
                          To: woodandbrass <woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Wed, Nov 21, 2012 6:45 am
                          Subject: [woodandbrass] Re: For sale: rare 1886 Benster diaphragm shutter and big brass B&L Special Rapid Portrait lens

                           
                          Come on in. The first forty years are the worst. We are all still learning. Why not introduce yourself?
                          Eric.

                          --- In woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com, voncabbage@... wrote:
                          >
                          > sorry..........i'm new to this
                          > i cannot tell the difference (yet)
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > -----Original Message-----
                          > From: F West <gryku@...>
                          > To: woodandbrass <woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com>
                          > Sent: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 2:46 pm
                          > Subject: Re: [woodandbrass] For sale: rare 1886 Benster diaphragm shutter and big brass B&L Special Rapid Portrait lens
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Hello, I don't understand this "right back at you". I don't see any relevance. They are completely different items, a 19th century rarity in David's possession and some sort of regrettable cobbled together oddity on eBay from decades later. What do you mean? I'm puzzled. Good day, Frank West
                          >
                          > --- On Tue, 11/20/12, voncabbage@... <voncabbage@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > From: voncabbage@... <voncabbage@...>
                          > Subject: Re: [woodandbrass] For sale: rare 1886 Benster diaphragm shutter and big brass B&L Special Rapid Portrait lens
                          > To: woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com
                          > Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 6:26 PM
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > right back at you
                          >
                          >
                          > http://www.ebay.com/itm/Darlot-Lens-With-Wollensak-Shutter-Very-Unusual-/321025067526?pt=US_Vintage_Cameras&hash=item4abe95ca06
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > -----Original Message-----
                          > From: David Silver <silver@...>
                          > To: woodandbrass <woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com>
                          > Sent: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 12:34 pm
                          > Subject: [woodandbrass] For sale: rare 1886 Benster diaphragm shutter and big brass B&L Special Rapid Portrait lens
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Hello everybody,
                          >
                          > Here's an especially rare and historically significant piece for the wood
                          > and brass fanciers. A Benster diaphragm shutter (US patent #339,731 from
                          > April 13, 1886) installed in an impressive big brass Bausch & Lomb Special
                          > Rapid Portrait Series C lens for 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch format, engraved for
                          > sale through Ralph J. Golsen of Chicago. Seriously, rare as hen's teeth.
                          > I think I've only seen three Benster shutters in my nearly 40 years of
                          > collecting, and this one is exceptional. Take a look:
                          >
                          > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster1.jpg
                          > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster2.jpg
                          > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster3.jpg
                          > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster4.jpg
                          > http://www.photographyhistory.com/Benster5.jpg
                          >
                          > The shutter works smoothly (manually operating the piston...I haven't
                          > attached a tube and bulb to it), it opens and closes exactly as it should,
                          > and the iris blades are perfect. The lens is a beauty. Other than the
                          > soft dent to the front hood, it's in excellent overall condition with
                          > clean optics and clean glass surfaces, very attractive patina to the
                          > brass, and it comes with the original mounting flange. Wow!
                          >
                          > I'm asking $1750, and I'll cover the cost of shipping to any location in
                          > the world. Contact me directly at silver@... if you're interested.
                          > If nobody responds in the next day or so, it's off to eBay, but I'd much
                          > rather see a friend acquire this rarity. Fingers crossed...
                          >
                          > Best wishes,
                          >
                          > David Silver - President
                          > International Photographic Historical Organization
                          > E-mail: silver@... Telephone: (415) 681-4356
                          > Web site: http://www.photographyhistory.com
                          >



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