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Browning, John | Box Plate Camera | Other | Other

1860s. | PLATES 2.5" X 1.5". John Browning had an early interest in photography and is known to have supplied equipment to Fox-Talbot. A cast-brass plate on this very rare camera says:"John Browning, Optician, 146, Strand, London. Estab. 1765." He was at 146, Strand, only from the 1860s to 1874, when he moved to 63, Strand, so the latest this camera can be is 1874; I am dating it on probabilities, to the 1860s, and it is certainly of a wet-plate styling, though using comb joints rather than dovetails. It has a fixed focus lens with three rotary stops, a focusing screen and a double dark slide. The major part of John Browning's business was in mathematical, optical and scientific instruments, but he is known to have made photographic cameras like this one, more rarely found than his microscope cameras, which are of very similar appearance, and with the same built-in flap shutter, but lacking a lens. The firm was still functioning up to 1897. A John Browning Microscope Camera, less rare than this, was sold by Tennant's on Oct 29, 2014, for £220.

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