Daguerreotype Camera - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Daguerreotype Camera

c. 1851

Image of Daguerreotype Camera

Lens:
Petzval type lens, fixed aperture. Marked 'A.G.' near the serial number. Serial no. 5502 .

Construction:
Polished walnut with dovetail joints.

Format:
3" x 3".

Focusing:
Sliding box movement and rack and pinion movement on lens, to c. 0.5 metre.

With:
Focusing screen.

This was probably made in France and is typical of continental construction of the time. This style of camera was produced in the Daguerreotype era and changed little through the 1850s and '60s. The lens is marked with the initials A.G. which possibly stands for Alexis Gillez. Some lenses with A.G. on the barrel are signed Alexis Gaudin on the edge of the glass.

Around a dozen lenses marked A.G. are known to exist, the initials along with a serial number are stamped on the barrel towards the rear of the lens, the edge of the elements are often signed Alexis Gaudin or Gaudin Frères. One source (Christie's) attributes a lens marked in this way to Alexis Gillez, that name being written on the edge of the glass. Gillez is not otherwise known and this could be a mistake, if Gillez is the lens maker then presumably he was supplying either the brass work or complete lens to Gaudin who then added a signature to the elements. Another problem is the serial number where known examples range from 1xx to 10xxx, if these were strictly sequential then the output would be much too large for a relatively unknown manufacturer; the numbers could include a digit indicating the year of manufacture or type of lens or they could be part of a wider set which includes other scientific instruments.

Further Information:
Other A.G. lenses are known, one with a serial number of 5174 is dated 1851 and is signed on the edge of the glass Alexis Gaudin another, number 8046, has a date on the element of 1856. Lens 10066 has a date of 1847 on the glass, this is the lens that was at Christie's (11/2000) signed Alexis Gillez, it was later at Westlicht, it is an early Daguerreotype lens with a pivoting shutter.

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