Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Sybil Excelsior Camera

Newman & Guardia

Name: Sybil Excelsior
Type: Folding Rollfilm Camera
Manufacturer: Newman & Guardia Ltd
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Conventional shape rollfilm camera, but with the N & G trellis extension supporting the lens standard (as with other Sybils). An unusual design aspect of this camera is that the back divides in the middle to open to load and unload the film. The action of opening the rear doors also causes the film spools to be raised out of the back for ease of loading and removal of the film. The back is released by the action of pulling out the winding knob.
Production Period: 1927 - 1933 (TBC)


Plate / Film Size: 116 rollfilm (for pictures 2½" x 4¼")
Lens: Ross 136mm Xpres f4.5, number 114631
Shutter: N & G patent shutter
Movements: Rising front, cross front
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: c1929
Serial Number: Serial Exr 128 stamped onto focussing slider along with patent dates
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [x]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 422

<Photographs to be added>


The Sybil Excelsior is an uncommon rollfilm variant of the Sybil. This is probably the first camera to utilise the winder as the means to release the opening back, which is split into two halves that open from the centre, lifting the film spool holders outwards for ease of loading.

The camera is in very good condition; the leather is in very good order. The only significant sign of wear is on the viewfinder, where there is loss of the black enamel and some light corrosion to the underlying aluminium. The shutter still functions, but the speeds are unreliable and the mechanism probably needs to be repaired.

The date assigned to this example is based upon serial / date data on the excellent early Photography web site.

The camera came complete with its original hide case, which is velvet lined and in very good condition. The camera name is picked out in gold inside the lid.


This variant of the Sybil turns up quite rarely.