- Antique and Vintage Cameras

Later model Sibyl Serial Numbers

These data cover the New Special, New Ideal, Baby, Vitesse and Excelsior models.

Click on the graph to display an interactive version in a new window.

The graph above plots camera serial numbers against lens numbers. Most of the data comes from sales catalogues and similar sources and, of course, may suffer from transcription and other errors. The lens scales should not be compared one to another as they do not reflect the different rates of production of the lens makers.

From the graph it can be seen that some cameras are fitted with a lens having a higher serial number than expected. This is particularly true for roll-film models. One reason for this could be that a batch of cameras was made but not always fitted with lenses, there being a minimum economic batch size determined by the time to set-up the machines and jigs. Roll-film models are relatively few in number compared to plate models and so remained in stock, without a lens, for longer. Cameras can also be found fitted with older lenses. Old, perhaps damaged, cameras might be traded in and the lenses re-used or old lenses might be bought from a source other than the manufacturer. A few cameras exist made after 1914 fitted with Tessar lenses when Zeiss imports would not have been available.

From the early 1920s the data suggests that the numbering from Ross was sequential. The situation looks different for the period during and immediately after World War I. Possibly for this period Ross was pre-allocating numbers based on orders or customer. Certainly there is a large number of lenses in the 86000 range covering a wide range of camera numbers and few between 81000 and 86000. It would appear that the first World War did not cause a great disruption to N&G production until the middle of the war. Advertisements suggest that Sibyls were available from stock until the middle of the war and that from then until around 1919 production was much reduced. But with production even in good times being so low it is difficult to be precise. Following the war the price of models nearly doubled from their pre-war figures, there was a small increase at the start of the war and later prices were available on request which may indicate that the Sibyl was still being made but at a rapidly changing cost.

The graph shows a small horizontal line at New Ideal camera E355. Four cameras with numbers E355 - E475 are fitted with Taylor Hobson lenses from a single batch having serial numbers differing by only 14. An indication of how few TTH lenses were fitted to later model Sibyls.

Following the second World War production of Sibyls may have restarted or pre-war parts were used to assemble new cameras.1

Sibyl Numbering
During this period different Sibyl models had a different letter prefix to the serial number, the numeric part was assigned per model.

Production Numbers
Numbering of the New Special, New Ideal and Baby models all started at 1. The Vitesse and Excelsior models probably started at 100. Production would have stopped soon after the 1939 war started, the models were in any case largely out-of-date by this time and production figures were low as the graphs show. This gives total production numbers of under 1450 for the Baby, under 1270 for the New Special and perhaps 670 for the New Ideal, the Vitesse and Excelsior were produced in very low numbers with probably not many more than a 100 of each being produced.

New Special Sibyl

No.LensDateSource (C = Christie, P = Phillips, S = Sotheby)
A5191100Zeiss1913C 9/5/91, 144
A13183019Zeiss
A28191180Zeiss
A40191197Zeiss
A43191207Zeiss
A45215010ZeissP 27/10/82, 124
A46215011ZeissPhot. World 62
A59191117Zeiss1913C 7/12/89, 202
A73215026Zeiss
A89238794ZeissC 11/3/93, 359; 13/1/94, 231Roll-film
A9176029RossPhot. World 62
A137275023GoerzDagor
A140239003ZeissPhot. World 62
A15376015RossPhot. World 62
A154182935Zeiss1914C 7/3/96, 329
A159168724ZeissC 1/9/94, 369
A177239026ZeissC 16/3/95, 296
A20854135TTHC 18/11/03, 804
A21054137TTHC 21/7/94, 303
A22576033Ross1914Roll-film New Special SibylRoll-film
A240247178ZeissRoll-film
A275C 19/8/82, 58
A296C 8/7/93, 483
A31770335TTH1916C 6/9/05, 337; 15/10/81, 80
A34771565TTH1917C 20/8/98, 366
A36271567TTH
A37386504RossC 25/11/93, 346
A374
A393238985ZeissC 28/3/07, 406
A395Teamwork
A39780267TTH
A40386164RossC 25/11/93, 354; 1/5/80, 1
A40486166RossC 26/5/83, 44
A41080282TTHC 1/9/94, 210
A41186172RossC 23/11/95, 302
A419176234ZeissC 20/2/97, 342Lens d. c. 1913
A44386204RossC 29/8/96, 330
A47380294TTHC 20/7/95, 303
A47786214RossNew Special Sibyl
A48486221RossC 26/5/83, 70
A48586222Ross1919C 29/8/96, 328
A487
A49886236Ross
A51780316TTH
A52180297TTHC 19/10/95, 552
A54798801RossPhot. World 62Roll-film
A556Dallmeyer1920C 18/1/96, 466Roll-film
A55998681RossPhot. World 62Roll-film
A56898794RossC 13/1/83, 6Roll-film
A571DallmeyerC 20/9/90, 172Serrac lens
A576.98797RossRoll-film New Special Sibyl
A57799033RossC 30/7/92, 196
A58298789RossC 18/11/03, 805
A59799042RossNew Special Sibyl
A61199286DallmeyerSerrac
A616C 24/11/94, 302
A623100896RossC 25/11/93, 353
A62899291DallmeyerC 6/10/83, 251Serrac lens
A639100811RossPhot. World 62
A643106564TTHC 25/11/93, 356
A655100901RossC 18/1/96, 467; 1/9/94, 239
A665101323Ross
A729105927RossC 10/11/88, 262Stereo model with lens 105928
A744103044RossC 11/5/89, 225; 12/1/89, 301
A780RossVintage
A789104519Ross4.5 Xpres
A794103050RossRoll-film
A822105186RossC 17/7/01, 392
A823RossLens 107570 ? With Ross Tele 108563
A826105196RossC 18/8/83, 1
A842105189RossC 16/9/82, 136
A847105210Ross1924C 19/3/87, 158
A869122767TTHC 17/3/88, 80
A870122760TTHTeamwork
A916106850RossC 29/1/98, 451
A920106839RossC 7/4/82Roll-film
A935106837Ross1925C 10/7/97, 393
A957100912Dallmeyer1926Serrac lens
A969108480RossC 19/9/91, 277
A1010108693RossP 23/7/82, 150
A1018109342Ross
A1021108684RossPhot. World 62
A1026110450RossC 20/8/98, 365
A1038109345RossC 3/3/83, 79
A1040110461Ross1928C 9/4/81, 106
A1046110473RossC 29/8/96, 370
A1052110466RossWestLicht 12/09With Dallon 117540
A1058C 27/5/82, 161
A1060110469RossC 18/7/91, 375
A1061110480Ross
A1072112585RossC 29/9/88, 267
A1076112589Ross6/9/05, 336
A1080112598RossPhot. World 62
A1084112601RossC 20/7/95, 339; 17/1/85, 146
A1107116083RossPhot. World 62Roll-film
A1108112581RossC 3/5/84, 140Roll-film
A1113112596RossPhot. World 62Roll-film
A1120113274RossC 10/9/87, 130
A1122113276RossC 12/3/92, 257
A1126113280RossC 18/9/01, 321
A1147114694RossC 18/1/96, 456
A1149114696RossC 2/2/95 , 229; 17/1/85, 145
A1172116058RossC 28/8/97, 396; 21/11/96, 66
A1174116087Ross1930C 17/7/01, 391
A1190B 11/2011
A1209124538RossC 18/7/91
A1210124533RossC 20/7/95, 329; Teamwork
A1213147728DallmeyerSerrac
A1225124544RossC 9/5/91, 143
A1232132486RossTeamwork
A1239129029RossC 21/7/94, 313
A1241132488RossC 17/1/85, 198
A1252137186Ross
A1253137187Ross1936C 14/3/91, 229

Baby Sibyl

No.LensDateSource (C = Christie, P = Phillips, S = Sotheby)
B30160825Zeiss1912
B34160829Zeiss1912C 14/11/91, 303
B44160838ZeissC 8/4/82, 179
B48160842Zeiss
B53160847ZeissC 6/9/05, 270; 14/2/06, 331
B61160855ZeissTeamwork
B67160863ZeissAuction 10/2/11
B7517889Ross-Zeiss
B89179303ZeissSibyl-Aviar
B103179279ZeissP 23/3/83, 158
B117C 7/7/83, 10
B126179321ZeissPhot. World 62
B133179328ZeissS 20/11/81, 385
B142179276Zeiss
B144179278Zeiss1913C 14/7/88, 372Lens supplied c. 1913
B152182577ZeissC 14/1/82, 53
B182182649ZeissTeamwork
B198182641ZeissC 21/8/80, 253
B200182644ZeissC 18/7/91, 384
B202182646ZeissC 9/7/81, 60
B230210801ZeissPhot. World 62
B232P 14/11/90, 21
B259ZeissC 26/6/86, 330Roll-film
B299182628ZeissRoll-film. Also able to take plates
B303182632ZeissC 12/1/89 , 170Roll-film. Lens supplied c. 1913
B330182760ZeissRoll-film Baby Sibyl
B335182765Zeiss1913C 7/7/83, 216
B36980938RossC 5/5/94, 303Roll-film
B377228680ZeissPhot. World 62
B400211046ZeissC 13/8/81, 68
B407219924ZeissAP 9/9/25, xRoll-film
B422228701ZeissC 25/11/99, 505; 17/6/99, 1
B423228702Zeiss1913P 14/5/90, 26
B432182753ZeissRoll-film
B44278043Ross1914C 10/5/90, 217
B451228715ZeissC 14/10/82, 140
B490228706ZeissPhot. World 62
B496228724ZeissRoll-film
B50176051RossPhot. World 62
B53176774RossPhot. World 62
B552219957ZeissC 15/7/99, 237
B56776972RossPhot. World 62
B58978330RossC 11/12/02, 270; 25/7/96, 450
B59478335RossRoll-film Baby Sibyl
B59977980RossC 24/4/86 , 197
B63279212RossC 17/7/01, 384Roll-film
B64870302TTHC 16/1/86 , 178Sibyl-Cooke lens available from 1922
B66578238Ross1915S 20/11/81, 401
B67986050RossC 24/11/94, 389Roll-film
B68366775TTHBJP 22/8/1919, p. 488Roll-film. Stolen from N&G
B69580925RossC 9/5/91, 148
B72980943RossC 10/7/97, 403; 25/11/93, 345
B73286049RossC 11/5/89, 120
B74466788TTHC 14/11/91, 347
B74780854Ross1917S 26/6/81, 140
B77171546TTHWestLicht 10/11Rathbone Pl.
B78686076Ross
B79886103RossC 20/4/95, 461
B81586077Ross
B89894942RossP 14/5/90, 39
B927DallmeyerSerrac lens
B93394939RossPhot. World 62Roll-film
B95386136RossBaby Sibyl
B96080167TTH1919Roll-film Baby SibylRoll-film, Cooke Aviar lens
B963106516TTHC 14/1/88, 108
B967106515TTH
B99294975RossSAS 9/11, lot 68Roll-film
B104299877RossWestLicht 05/10Roll-film
B106399869DallmeyerC 3/3/83, 116
B1074101101RossP 14/11/90, 7; C 28/8/97, 419
B1083101402RossPhot. World 62
B1106101113RossC 20/2/97, 304
B1126101397RossPhot. World 62
B1142103437RossWestLicht 12/09
B1195106427Ross1925C 26/5/83, 18
B1210106422Ross1925Phot. World 62Roll-film
B1217107234RossRoll-film
B1224109328RossScammell Auctions 15/9/2013Roll-film
B1228109332Ross1926C 29/9/88, 57Roll-film
B1250110446RossWestLicht 5/05
B1285106551TTHSibyl-Aviar
B1286129609RossWestLicht 5/11Newman st.
B1294106502TTHSeries II Sibyl-Aviar
B1314130486RossC 18/8/83, 232Newman St. address
B1339129614RossC 17/4/97, 351Roll-film
B1349128745RossWith Ross telephoto
B1351128743RossPhot. World 62
B1360129610Ross1934C 11/12/02, 59
B1364130481Ross
B1370C 11/12/02, 60
B1375133593RossEast Bristol Auctions 2/201563 Newman St
B1382RossTeamwork
B1395140363Ross1938
B1397140368Ross1938
B1403140369Ross1939Rangefinder Baby SibylRangefinder
B1406141511RossC 11/12/02, 61; 20/11/01, 526Rangefinder
B1408141523Ross1939Rangefinder Baby SibylRangefinder
B1409141505RossC 17/4/97, 250Rangefinder
B1411141507RossC 9/5/91, 140Rangefinder
B1412141517RossC 18/1/96, 517Rangefinder
B1416141508Ross11/12/02, 61Rangefinder
B1418141513RossPhotographica World no. 113Rangefinder
B1419141520RossWestLicht 12/09Rangefinder
B1422141516RossRangefinder
B1424142668RossC 18/11/03, 775
B1426142669RossC 2/2/95, 234
B1427142663RossC 3/5/84 , 139
B1447209489Ross

New Ideal Sibyl

No.LensDateSource (C = Christie, P = Phillips, S = Sotheby)
E1133755Zeiss1913Teamwork cat. 1/85With Ross Telephoto 75138
E5Zeiss
E58C 14/1/88, 281
E7218057Ross-Zeiss
E80255505Zeiss1913Roll-film
E81255508Zeiss1913C 12/3/92, 70
E102Ross
E12378219Ross1915C 21/6/84, 28
E13178221RossP 3/80
E139183999ZeissC 2/10/80, 177Roll-film
E15081068RossC 1/12/83, 289
E161C 21/2/85, 27
E18580376TTH
E19086287Ross1919C 21/8/80
E19386292RossC 11/1/01, 429
E20686317Ross
E29186345RossPhot. World 62Roll-film
E30286324RossC 20/9/90, 163Roll-film
E313100538Ross
E337122650DallmeyerWestLicht 5/2012Serac lens
E339100874Ross1921C 3/5/84 , 141
E355106599TTHC 25/11/93, 344
E358106602TTH1922New Ideal SibylSibyl-Aviar lens
E370101303RossC 17/7/01, 389
E371101306Ross
E375101311RossC 2/10/80, 139Roll-film
E395106629TTHC 1/9/94, 307
E403102705RossC 24/8/00, 389
E424103877RossC 17/3/88, 73
E432103881Ross1923C 13/1/94, 191
E475106613TTHC 17/2/04, 259
E519107516RossC 17/7/01, 390
E522107517RossPhot. World 62
E569109235Ross1926C 9/5/03, 289
E575109314RossC 11/12/02, 55; 7/5/87, 292
E579C 7/4/82
E582110489RossPhot. World 62
E599110504RossC 14/10/82, 219
E600
E635From a New Ideal SibylNewman St. Address
E655120172RossC 18/1/96, 467
E656120169Ross1931Roll-film New Ideal SibylRoll-film. Newman St address
E657120160RossPhot. World 62
E698

Excelsior

No.LensDateSource (C = Christie, P = Phillips, S = Sotheby)
Exr11376195RossPhot. World 62
Ex114112633RossPhot. World 62
Exr116112035Ross1928Sibyl Excelsior
Ex118Ross1928C 7/7/83, 35
Exr119106651TTHSibyl Aviar lens
Ex121114624Ross1929C 13/8/81, 100
Ex126114629RossC 13/11/80, 64
Exr128114631Ross
Ex129114632RossC 18/8/83, 145
Exr146115869RossC 19/9/85, 231
Ex151115874RossC 7/7/83, 250
Ex164Ross
Ex176124428Ross1932C 24/11/94, 388
Ex198199280RossC 11/12/02, 57Post-war lens
Ex200RossC 19/9/85, 157

Vitesse

No.LensDateSource (C = Christie, P = Phillips, S = Sotheby)
V105
V112114296Ross1928C 25/11/93, 348
V120114641RossC 18/1/96, 457
V126114649RossPhot. World 62
V127114650RossSibyl VitesseRathbone St address
V139115882Ross1929C 14/11/91, 135
V152115894RossPhot. World 62
V162127146Ross1933Sibyl Vitesse
V194115886RossPhot. World 62

References & Notes

Further Information:
A good series of articles on the Sibyl by Antony Manthos was published in Photographica World numbers 58 - 63. The serial number data comes from other sources and overlaps the data used here.

[1] The BJA 1949 p. 527 says that the Baby Sibyl, Roll Film Baby Sibyl, New Special, Sibyl Vitesse and Sibyl Excelsior can be supplied in limited numbers. All were fitted with Ross Xpres lenses.

N&G Early Sibyl

N&G Later Sibyl

Universal, Square Reflector

N&G Folding Reflex

N&G Nydia N&G Trellis

Adams

Sanderson

Dallmeyer

Houghton (Ensign, H-B)

Soho Kershaw

Thornton-Pickard

Luzo

Rolleiflex Rolleicord

Contessa-Nettel Ica

Voigtländer Zeiss-Ikon

Newman Sinclair Reflex

Frena

Periflex Wrayflex

Lenses -
Ross Dallmeyer

TTH Wray Beck Aldis

Ross-Zeiss Ross-Goerz

Carl Zeiss Goerz Meyer

Voigtländer

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