Billcliff Multi-image camera - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Multiple image camera

1890s

Joshua Billcliff

Manchester

England

Image of Multiple image camera

Lens:
f4.5, 5" plano-convex. Fixed aperture.

Shutter:
Acme, B setting, pneumatic release.

Construction:
Polished mahogany body, cloth bellows.

Format:
1) 8, 1 " x 2 " exposures on a 6 " x 4 " plate, arranged 2 rows of 4.
2) 18, 1" x 1 " exposures on a 6 " x 4 " plate, arranged 3 rows of 6.

Focusing:
Bellows to 3 feet.

Attributes:
All exposures are individually made, the dark-slide moves horizontally within the repeating back and the repeating back moves vertically on the camera. Revolving back. The dark-slides are for single plates and have a rear door.

Serial Number:
6687 .

Notes:
One of the repeating backs is stamped 'Billcliff Manchester'.

With:

  • Repeating back for 8 exposures with focusing screen.
  • Repeating back for 18 exposures with focusing screen.
  • 1 dark-slide with 6 numbers and alignment positions.
  • 1 dark-slide with 4 numbers and alignment positions.

This is a multiple image camera for producing the novelty photographs popular at the time. The back of the camera is removable allowing backs to be fitted for different formats. Despite the simple lens the image produced is sharp enough as the negative would not have been enlarged. With the 18 exposure back a portrait could be taken from around 6 - 8 feet. Either gelatine dry plates or ferrotype plates could have been used.

The revolving back is a very early example and the subject of a patent by Billcliff. Fallowfield illustrates an identical back in their advertisement for 1906.

References & Notes:
BP 13956/1885. BJA 1906, p. 1324. BJA 1914, p. 1340.

Illustrations:
Christie's Cat. 20/10/1994 lot 471. Similar model.


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