Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

The "Tourist" Field Camera

J. Piggott

Name: The "Tourist" Field Camera
Manufacturer: John Piggott
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Conventional English style field camera, with through bolts to clamp the lens standard in position. Mahogany and brass, with simple comb joints.
Production Period:  


Plate / Film Size: ½ plate
Lens: Lancaster Patent
Shutter: None
Movements: Rising front, limited tilt to back. Reversible back (portrait / landscape)
Dimensions (w x h x l): 20 x 20 x 24.5 cms (open, not extended)
Date of this Example: c1895
Serial Number: Number 23 stamped into wood of reversing frame, but more likely to be some form manufacturing batch number rather than a serial number
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 665


The "Tourist" by John Piggott is an early English field camera, but of quite basic design. It has a rising front, tilting and reversible back only.

The camera has a mahogany body, with simple comb joints. Red leather bellows, double extension. The bellows have some damage through age, and wear and tear. Rack and pinion focusing, with straight cut pinion.

The label on the top face identifies the maker and gives the address as 117 Cheapside & Milk Street. The camera has been identified by name from a Piggott advert in the Photographic News March 1898.

The Lancaster lens appears to be an original fit to the panel. There is no serial number on the lens. The aperture ring, is marked with f numbers 10, 20, 30 with a second set of markings alongside, but labelled "TIME", with values 1, 2, 4, 8.


Photos copyright © 2017 David Purcell. Do not use without permission.
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1898 Piggott Camera Advert
1898 Piggott Camera Advert

The advert on the left is taken from the Photographic News of 18 March, 1898 and shows the "Tourist" camera. The price list shows that the camera was available in a four different sizes, from ¼ plate to 10 x 8, although to date I have only encountered the camera in ½ plate size.

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