Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Little Nipper Camera

W. Butcher & Company

Name: Little Nipper
Manufacturer: W. Butcher & Co.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Conventional box camera of cardboard covered with black cloth. The back of the camera folds down and allows the single plates in special holders to be inserted one at a time.
Production Period: 1922 - ?
Thumbnail of Butcher's Little Nipper Camera Click on the thumbnail on the left to open a large picture in this window.
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Other detailed photos are provided further down this page.


Model / Variant: Later Model
Plate / Film Size: 4.5 cm x 6 cm plates
Lens: Unknown
Shutter: Simple instantaneous
Dimensions (w x h x l): 6.5 x 9.5 x 10 cms
Date of this Example: c1922
Serial Number: No serial number evident
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 351


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The Little Nipper camera is a basic box camera for single plates in special holders. The camera came complete with a full boxed set of "Little Nippers" plateholders. The camera is made of cloth covered cardboard and is very simple in construction. It is in very good condition, with very few scuffs or marks and no significant corrosion or other signs of wear.

The name "Butcher's Little Nipper" is clearly visible embossed into the front face and across the top face. Inside the back is complete with the simple plate loading instructions, which has only slight wear on one corner.

The camera was aimed at children and was supported by set of darkroom accessories (see pamphlet below). There was apparently a Little Nippers Club with an associated monthly magazine called The Little Nipper Times. I have as yet to come across a copy of the magazine.

Image of pamphlet for Butcher's Little Nipper camera

The adjacent image shows the Little Nipper folding pamphlet, which is also shown in the picture gallery. The 4-page folding pamplet shows two accessories kits that were available for the camera, namely the Developing and Printing outfit and the Post Card Printer.

(Click on the image to open a scan of the pamphlet (pdf viewer required). Use the back button to return to this page).

Image of pamphlet for Butcher's Little Nipper camera


Little Nipper cameras turn up from time to time in varying conditions and accessories sometimes can be found too. I have as yet to see the developing outfit or other accessories other than the box of plateholders that came with my example.

This is the later model which follows a similar construction to other Butcher Carbine box cameras of the period. The first model of the Little Nipper, a falling plate camera of quite different in construction, is comparatively scarce.