5. Half-Plate Field Camera on Tripod, c. 1892

Signed on ivory plaque: 'W. WATSON & SONS MANUFACTURERS. 313. HIGH HOLBORN. LONDON.'

Mahogany and aluminium tapered-bellows folding camera, for dry plates 165 x 120 mm. The lens is a f6 Ross symmetrical meniscus doublet (inscribed on barrel: 'N1 47521 ROSS LONDON (Extra Rapid) 8 x 5 Universal Symmetrical') of 250 focal length. The move from wet to dry-plate photography in the 1870s resulted in the design of more portable cameras for use in the field. This one belonged to the noted Oxford amateur photographer Miss Sarah Angelina Acland who took up colour photography at the turn of the century. Several of her early colour photographs are on show. It is similar to the one that belonged to the father of Lawrence of Arabia (Item 21), another keen amateur photographer. The camera had to be supported on a heavy tripod in order to keep it steady during the exposure.

Height 200 mm, width 210 mm, length 70 mm (folded).
Inventory no. 58,312 and 64,626.