Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Stereo Field Camera

London Stereoscopic Company

Name: Stereo Field Camera
Type: Field Camera
Manufacturer: London Stereoscopic Company (but probably made for them by Billcliff). Mahogany and brass construction with finger joints, with some of the brass 'wormed' to add a pattern to the surface.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Standard field construction as commonly used in the period, but intended for stereo use.
Production Period: Unknown

 

Plate / Film Size: plate
Lens: Matched pair of unnamed lenses with wheel stops, f8
Shutter: Roller blind shutter, time & instant, probably made by Thornton Pickard but only carrying a London Stereoscopic Co roundel.
Movements: Rising front (but curiously without any means of holding it in position), tilting back with limited swing. Rotating back.
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: c1895
Serial Number: None found on the camera, although there are several indistinct assembly numbers. Serial 12496 on lower side of T & I stereo shutter.
Availability:
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [x]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 563

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Description

Stereo field camera with plate identifying it as 'Stereoscopic Co. Ltd. 108 & 110 Regent St & 54 Cheapside E. C.' A fine mahogany and brass half plate format, finger jointed, mahogany construction with dark red square section leather bellows, rack and pinion double extension.

Lionel Hughes stated that the camera was probably made for L. S. Co by Joshua Billcliff, the famous Manchester maker. This is indeed plausible, but as yet unproven. One characteristic feature is the use of ebony inlay, in this case as reinforcement across the corners of the ground glass screen holder. There is similar diagonal reinforcement (but not in ebony) across the corners of the DDS. The construction of the bodyshell is also somewhat similar to the Chapman British.

I removed the LSC label and this covers a rebated slot where the original label would have been applied. So was this camera re-sold by LSC or made for them?

The internal removable septum is missing (the locating slots are clearly visible).

It has a pair of symmetrical type lenses with wheel stops mounted in a working Thornton Pickard roller blind shutter (but not marked T-P) also with the London Stereoscopic Co. roundel. Second lens board for a single lens (no lens) for normal photographs. The leather bellows show slight wear at the corners, otherwise the camera is in good condition with the original finish, minimal brass darkening. Much of the brass is 'wormed' to pattern it.

Original fitted hard canvas case containing the camera, stereo lenses and shutter, three double dark slides, board for single lens and original ash tripod. The tripod is in very good condition and appears sound; it has no makers mark.

Notes

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