Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Unknown Field Camera

Manufacturer Unknown

Name: Unknown
Type: Field Camera
Manufacturer: Unknown
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Construction: Mahogany & brass of comparatively simple construction, with black double extension tapered bellows.
Production Period: Unknown


Plate / Film Size: ¼ plate
Lens: Unmarked with simple lever set aperture adjustment
Shutter: Rotary shutter, similar to Lancaster rubber band, but using spring (broken)
Movements: Rising front, tilting back
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Date of this Example: c1900
Serial Number: None
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 141

<Photographs to be added>


A quarter plate field camera from the 1890s, which is in poor condition. The wood has lost its polish and is doing its best to disassemble itself (the glue has probably dried out). One of the side support struts is broken. The brass has lost much of its lacquer. This is a major restoration project!

The camera carries no obvious name anywhere.

The seller found it in their Victorian house when they moved in 25 years ago.


This camera is representative of a large number that turn up quite often that defy identification. There were many makers of field cameras of this type in the latter years of the 19th century, some being qualified furnisher makers turning their hand to new things. Parts were readily available as there were suppliers advertising brass components and bellows in the BJPA, leaving the maker only with the wood work and assembly tasks. Lenses of course could always be purchased separately.

Many cameras were made for retailers to supply, perhaps badged with their own names.

Despite the fact that some of these cameras can have quite distinctive features, they can be extremely difficult to identify with any certainty. Even line drawings included in contemporary adverts can be a poor guide as these can differ in significant detail from the actual camera.

I generally avoid cameras that I cannot identify unless they have some characteristic or feature that is of particular interest. I'm not quite sure how this well worn example wormed its way into my collection!