Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Ensignette No 1 (Nickel Plated)

Houghtons Limited

Name: Anastigmat Ensignette No 1
Manufacturer: Houghtons Ltd.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Bedless strut camera.  The body was made in brass with nickel-plated fittings.
Production Period:  


Model / Variant: Nickel Plated Model
Plate / Film Size: 1½ x 2¼ rollfilm (e.g. Ensign 1E)
Lens: Achromatic meniscus
Shutter: Simple I, T shutter
Movements: None
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: 1911-1914
Serial Number: Serial is 'H975' marked on the edge opposite the latch.
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [x]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 362


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Nickel plated body, with wonderful red pleated bellows. Good condition overall, perhaps because it has been protected by its case. The only obvious fault for the sharp-eyed is that the film winder key is missing.

The form of the camera is identical to the standard Ensignette, but it benefits from being nickel plated and is fitted with red pleated bellows.

The design with the roundels on each end tab is post 1911, but it is prior to 1915 when the camera was updated to include the aperture control around the lens (see McKeown [1]).

The camera comes in an original maroon fitted case in good condition and in a box from a goldsmiths in Edinburgh, 'Mackay & Chisholm' Goldsmiths, 59 Princes Street (no information found on the internet). The box is the right proportions for the camera but about an inch longer than the case - to leave space for films maybe?


The nickel plated variant of the Ensignette camera turn up only very occasionally and are quite scarce. Not surprisingly, they are highly sought after by collectors. I was very fortunate to buy this one some years ago. It came from Canada.

The photos don't really do it justice - it is a stunning camera and one that I am very pleased to have in the collection.