Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Sybil Plate Camera

Newman & Guardia

Name: Sybil Plate 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: 1906 - 1913 (when a new range was introduced)


Plate / Film Size: 2½" x 3½" plate / filmpack
Lens: Cooke Series III 4¼ inch f4.5
Shutter: N & G patent shutter
Movements: Rising front, cross front
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: c1913
Serial Number: Serial 792 stamped onto base and focus slider along with patent number & dates.  Lens serial number is 31522.
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 474


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The Sybil plate camera for pictures that are 2½" x 3½", using plate / filmpack model. The camera was built in the period 1906 - 1913. However it is a well used example, with some damage (caused in part by poor packing when the top curved edge was caved in locking the front shut. While I have managed to restore it to something like its original shape, nonetheless the damage still shows to some extent.

The leather covering is also showing wear with edging having come away on the front door and the open edge of the case.

The shutter does not appear to operate as it should. There is a screw hole at the middle left to the shutter that looks as though something such as a lever of some form should be there. However I have not yet found a useful photograph to compare against to establish quite what is missing.

The camera has been held in a small leather case which has therefore protected the outer leather on the camera to some degree. It came with another case with 5 holders, which I suspect are for cut film rather than plates. There is also a film pack case, although both show "Brevette" stamped into the metal, which suggests they are French accessories.

The camera retains its ground glass screen, carrier and original leather slip case.

The date range based on information on serial data from the Early Photography web site. This example of the Sibyl has a late serial number for this pattern, fitted with a TTH lens and looks to be c1913 with the lens made a year or so earlier (not unusual).


The plate version of the Sybil turns up more often than other models although the very early versions (c1906), with plain aluminium standard, are very scarce.