Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

New Special Sybil Camera

Newman & Guardia

Name: New Special Sybil Camera
Type: Folding Plate Camera
Manufacturer: Newman & Guardia Ltd
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Folding bed plate camera, fitted with trellis style side struts to support the lens standard (as with other Sybil models).
Production Period: 1913 - 1935 (possibly later)


Plate / Film Size: 2½" x 3½" plate / filmpack
Lens: T.T. & H Sybil-Cooke Series II 4 inch f4.5 No 71567
Shutter: N & G Special Shutter
Movements: Rising front, cross front
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: c1917
Serial Number: Serial A 362 stamped onto base and focus slider along with patent number & dates.
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 490

<Photographs to be added>


The New Special Sybil was introduced in 1913 and was produced over a long period. While quite similar to the standard Sybil that it replaced (along with the New Ideal Sybil), note that it has a simple rectangular shape without the rounded top edge found on the earlier model. It has the patent rise & fall folding viewfinder (not the simpler style of the earlier Sybil).

The folding reflecting viewfinder was introduced in 1916. The serial number suggests that the date is c1917 based on data on the Early Photography web site.

The operation of the shutter remains a bit of a mystery, although it is complete.

The camera has been held in a small hide case that has therefore protected the outer leather on the camera. It came with another case with 2 N&G aluminium DDS.

The camera still retains its ground glass screen and carrier.