Novelty Photographs - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Stamp Photograph

Image of Stamp Photograph

Portrait with ornate border and serrated edges, 1" x ¾". The border has 'Patented July 12 1885' printed on it. This patent refers to the Hyatt camera.

Very small images for mounting on cards, jewellery or in albums were popular from the 1880s. Generally produced a few years later, stamp photographs were very small prints having an elaborate border and serrated edges that resembled postage stamps. Cameras to produce these images were advertised for amateur use around 1900, accessories available included different borders and perforated printing paper. What one did with a postage stamp image is not clear, but not many have survived. Hyatt produced a postage stamp camera in the United States as early as 1887.

Button Photographs

Image of Button Photographs

  • ⅞" diameter tintype. Portrait of a man, crimped without mount.
  • 1" diameter image on paper under celluloid. Portrait of a woman, gilt mount.

These were popular in Britain during the Edwardian and First World War periods, often being produced at fairgrounds and seaside resorts. The images are either tintypes crimped to a frame often without a mount; a print on paper held loosely under celluloid or a print on paper bonded to a celluloid cover.

Microphotograph

J.B. Dancer

Manchester

England

Image of Microphotograph

No. 63, The Queen & Prince. Initialed JBD.

Microphotographs are very small images of large objects mounted either on a microscope slide or as a Stanhope (images of very small objects photographed using a microscope are photomicrographs). John Benjamin Dancer pioneered the technique of producing microphotographs and produced many commercially available slides sold by microscope suppliers. At a meeting of the Manchester Photographic Society, Dancer claims to have produced his first slide in February 1852, most slides date from the later 1850s. Other photographers producing microphotographs were Alfred Rosling, and George Shadbolt, their initials are usually contained on the label attached to the slide. The wet collodion process, which was capable of rendering very fine detail, was used for early microphotographs.

References & Notes:
Photographic News 13/5/1859, pp. 116, 117. Gernsheim, History of Photography 2nd ed. p. 317. Cyclopedia, p. 357.

Stanhopes

Image of Stanhopes

  • Binoculars. One lens shows the Lord's Prayer, the other six views of Brighton.
  • Tape measure. 3 feet in length, wooden barrel. Souvenir de Wimereux, 3 views.
  • Propelling pencil. Metal. Memory of Woolacombe, six views. Printed under the image: 'McKee Dublin'. Made in France.
  • Writing Pen. Le Nouvel Opéra Paris. A letter opener, now missing, would have formed one end of this item.
  • Needle Case. Six views of Ulverstone.
  • Bone paper knife. Four views of Windermere, dated 1876.
  • Cross to be worn as a pendent. Six views of Boulogne.
  • Black wooden pig. The image is 'A Memory of Clacton'. Made in France.
  • Black wooden pig. The image is missing.

Stanhopes date from the 1860s though most are from the 1890s to the early twentieth century from which time their popularity decreased. They are miniature collodion images mounted behind and in contact with a magnifying lens. Charles Stanhope was the originator of the lens, the idea of using it in conjunction with a small photograph is usually credited to David Brewster. Stanhopes are usually mounted in small articles - pens, tape measures, needle cases and jewellery. Mostly these were made of bone, ivory, wood or metal and often sold as souvenirs. The images were often produced in France.

References & Notes:
Gernsheim, History of Photography 2nd ed. p. 318.

Enamel and Photo-ceramics

Image of Enamel

Enamel
. Photograph on enamel. Oval portrait 2" x 1 ½".

Image of Portrait on China Plaque

Portrait on China Plaque
.

Image of Opal glass

Opal glass
. Two plaques of opal glass, portraits. Dated 1885 and 1901.

Half-tone reproduction of a photograph on china
. Burns Monument, Ridgway's Series.

Photo-ceramics are burnt-in images on china, porcelain and similar materials; enamels are the equivalent on metal. The image is permanent being formed, when the dusting-on process is used, from vitrifiable powder rather than photographic silver.

The first application was to transfer a collodion image coated with, for example, gold chloride or platinum chloride to the article which was then fired in a kiln where the silver of the image was replaced by the other metal. A patent was taken out for a collodion transfer process in 1854.1

The second method, which proved more popular, was to utilise a dusting-on process. A bichromate film was exposed under a negative in the ordinary way, the film remained tacky to varying degrees dependent on the exposure received, the film was then dusted with vitrifiable powder which adhered to the tacky portions of the image. The film was then mounted on the article and fired. Images in natural colour could be produced by mounting three films from three-colour separation negatives. Photo-ceramics were produced commercially by specialist firms from negatives supplied by the photographer. The first dusting-on process to be patented in Britain was in 1860, they were common from that time into the 1900s.2

An alternative to burning-in the image was to simply transfer a photographic image, collodion, carbon or gelatin silver bromide, to china or porcelain and to coat it in a varnish.3 Later half-tone images were printed on china plates and other articles.

References & Notes:
BJA 1900, p. 236, advertisement, p. 984. Eder, p. 566. Gernsheim, History of Photography 2nd ed. p. 342. Cyclopedia, p. 97, provides working instructions for a dusting-on process.

[1] BP 2020/1854.

[2] BP 149/1860. This patent was in the name of F.J. Joubert with the note that it is partly a communication from Henry Garnier so it may relate to Garnier and Salmon's work of a couple of years earlier.

[3] Talbot's patent 12906/1849 mentions this.

Opaline

Image of Opaline

Photograph of a house, gilt bevelled edges, green velvet frame.

Opalines are paper photographs stuck to glass, usually mounted in a velvet frame.

References & Notes:
BJA 1890, p. 756, advertisement. Cyclopedia, p. 381.

Portrait on Tin

Image of Portrait on Tin

  • Hand-tinted, 3 ¼" x 2 ⅜". In case.
  • Hand-tinted, 3 ¼" x 2 ⅜". In case with inscription - USA Studios.

These are photographs mounted on thin metal rather than being tintypes.

Kiosk Photograph

Kiosk Photograph showing the persons weight
. A 'while you wait' photograph that shows the persons weight above the image. The weight is recorded on a dial. Dated 1932. 1 ½" x 3 ½".

Kiosk Photograph
. Four, ⅞" x 1" images.

polyfoto

polyfoto Ltd.

London

Image of Partly used sheet of polyfotos

Partly used sheet of polyfotos
.

Complete sheet of polyfotos
.

polyfoto Print
. 1 ⅛" square print in 2 ½" x 3 ½" mount. This is an image cut from a polyphoto sheet and mounted.

Image of polyfoto Print

polyfoto Print
. 6" x 4 ½" in 11 ⅛" x 8 ⅛" folder.

Polyfotos were introduced in Britain around 1933, 48 images were individually taken on a glass plate in a special camera that allowed the plate to be moved between exposures. A print was sent to the customer who would then pick out which of the images were to be enlarged.

References & Notes:
BJA 1935, p. 617.

Street Photographs

Movie Photo
. A group of people walking in the street. 2 ½" x 2 ¼". The rear of the print is stamped Movie Photo.

Image of Filmographs

Filmographs
. A commercially produced 'street photograph' of two men walking along a street. The print shows two images, 2 ½" x 2", taken in quick succession with a motorised camera. The rear of the print is stamped Filmographs. The 'sprocket holes' have been added at the printing stage.

It was quite common, especially at holiday resorts, for a photographer to take an unposed photograph of someone and then provide the victim with details of the shop where the print could be obtained.

Cigarette Cards

Image of A Kodak at the Zoo

A Kodak at the Zoo
. Carreras Ltd., London.
  • Fifty cigarette cards 1 7/16" x 2 11/16" half-tone reproductions of zoo animals. The reverse of the cards carry details of the subject, photographic hints and a promotion offer to send a Hawkeye camera on receipt of 200 Black Cat coupons. Photographs by J. E. Saunders F.Z.S.
  • Second Series, details as above.

Address: Carreras Ltd. City Rd., London.

Image of Britain from the Air

Britain from the Air
. A series of 48 cigarette cards. Bromide prints 3" x 2". Published by Senior Service.

Bridges of Britain
. A series of 48 cigarette cards. Bromide prints 3" x 2". Published by Senior Service.

Beautiful Scotland
. A series of 48 cigarette cards. Bromide prints 3" x 2". Published by Senior Service.

Image of Cousis' Cigarettes

Cousis' Cigarettes
. Seventy-three cards 2" x 1 ⅛", silver prints. Famous people. Published by Cousis' Cigarettes.

Miniature print

A miniature print of King Edward VIII, probably for mounting in a locket 17/32" x 12/32". 1936.

Souvenir Cards

Jewel Photos

Image of Souvenir Cards

  • Bruges. Series A. Ten bromide prints 6 x 9 cm cream paper in cardboard cover.
  • Bruges. Series B. Ten bromide prints 6 x 9 cm cream paper in cardboard cover.
  • Ghent. Series A. Ten bromide prints 6 x 9 cm white paper in cardboard cover.

Panoramic Postcards

Photochrom Co. Ltd.

London

England

Image of Panoramic Postcards

  • Windsor St. George's Chapel 33199. Panoramic card 7 15/16" x 2 15/16". Half-tone reproduction on thick card 9 9/16" x 3 15/16".
  • Windsor Castle from North West 33204. Panoramic card 7 15/16" x 2 15/16". Half-tone reproduction on thick card 9 9/16" x 3 15/16".
  • Callander 9491. Panoramic card 7 ⅞" x 2 15/16". Half-tone reproduction on thick card 9 ¾" x 4".
  • Callander Hydropathic 9500. Panoramic card 7 ⅞" x 2 15/16". Half-tone reproduction on thick card 9 ¾" x 4".
The reverse of the card allows for address details but no additional writing.

Pictorial Letter Card

Eight stencil-coloured photographs of Jersey arranged as a book with a cover containing address details. Post mark of 1908.

Paperweight

Image of Paperweight

Half-tone reproduction on a mirror of S.S. Amra, 3 ½" x 2 ½". c. 1940s.

The image is within a thick glass block The Amra of the British India Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. was built in the late 1930s, she is shown with a black hull, in 1955 BISN ships were changed to white hulls.

Matchless Isle of Wight

Matchless Isle of Wight. Ten bromide prints in the form of a book of matches.

Composite Photographs

Image of Cafe - Koffie

Cafe - Koffie
. Two images each mounted in cardboard to allow movement, image size 1 ⅝" x 1 ¼". The photograph is a composite of three images.

These were produced to advertise a cafe, printed on the front of the mount: Cafe - Koffie, Unica, L van Daele. Tel 144 - Aalter. Subjects are a man drinking a glass of beer and changing expression in a girl's face. Printed on 35 mm cine film.

Image of Changing Expression

Changing Expression
. 2" x 1 ⅝" image in 4 ½" x 3 ½" mount. The photograph is a composite of two images. The rear of the mount carries instructions and patent information.

This is probably by Cinema Traders who marketed this type of photograph as 'Living Pictures'.

Composite Photographs consist of two parts:

  • An image which is made up from a sequence of thin strips of two or more original photographs. A mask is used at the taking or printing stage.
  • A print of the mask that was used.
These are superimposed in either order, whichever is at the front is printed on celluloid or similar. A small movement of the image relative to the mask will then display, in sequence, each of the original images. In the examples shown here the mask and image are attached by loose paper hinges which allow movement.

This type of image shares characteristics of the much earlier 'two-way' and 'three-way' images and with later lenticular images. A simple animated effect is possible.

References & Notes:
BP 106680/1916 (Describes a dark-slide with moveable mask.). BP 106681/1916. BP 114173/1918. Hopwood (Living Pictures) describes an earlier patent, BP 2623/1890, by L.Brenan. These types of images are described by Liesegang in Dates and Sources.

Moveigram

Merx

Guildford

England

Image of Moveigram

Flicker book, 36, prints mounted as a book. The subject is a boy holding a Contax III camera, he winds-on the film, raises the camera to his eye and takes a picture.

Notes:
Address: 12 Farnham Rd., Guildford, Surrey.

Merx would produce flicker books from customer's own cine films or from shots taken by their agents.

See Sir Malcolm Campbell Breaking the World's Water Speed Record

Image of See Sir Malcolm Campbell Breaking the World's Water Speed Record

Flicker book. Images on both sides of each page.

Sir Malcolm Campbell took the water speed record on Lake Maggiore, Locarno, Switzerland in 1937. Issued by Castrol by courtesy of British Movietone News.

Kinora Reels

Kinora Ltd

London

England

Image of Kinora Reels

Four reels

  • No. 44, steam train.
  • No. 166, steam train.
  • No. 345, horse drawn fire engine.
  • No. 479, lifeboat being launched.
All are in cardboard containers.

Images

Silhouette

Daguerreotype

Ambrotype

Tintype

Calotype & Salt Prints

Cartes de Visite

Cabinet & Studio Mounts

Carte de Visite Album

Stereo Cards and Diapositives

Prints

'Hold to Light' Photographs

Panoramas

Colour Processes

Albums

Illustrated Books

Novelty Photographs

Photomechanical

Lantern Slides

Film Strips

Wet-plate Negatives

Dry-plate Negatives