Tisdell & Whittelsey: Detective Camera

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Tisdell & Whittelsey: Detective Camera

Postby Madd10 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:20 am

A very nice example was sold on Feb 1 2016 for 2200 US$ (price added above).

This is the description:

"Extremely Rare TISDELL & WHITTLESEY* "CONCEALED DETECTIVE" Camera. ( Patented in 1886). This is a Deluxe "Hand Crafted" Model and the only one produced !!. Serial N° 406 Stamped in the front cross bar (photo 24). With an Especially Designed for the camera Jas. W, Queen PANTAGRAPH RAPID RECTILIEAR (ACHROMATIC ) Four Element, 4 3/4 inch focal length (f; 6). The lens is Symmetrically Constructed of two different types of glasss after the 1866 Dallmeyer type. "Spring-Set" Five speed + B. Shutter The shutter works correctly.. Beautifully Polished and "Dovetailed" Mahogany Chassis. Lacquered Brass lens mount.. The lens Mount is Hand Engraved (photo 8 & 9). Beautiful Burgundy Red colored Bellows" ( see photos 1-7 ) Deluxe"Pebble Grained" Seal Skin outer covering. The T & W is a Genuine "Detective Camera" and certainly the very Rarest and the Best American Made example. Really Extraordinary condition for a 114 years old camera!. Designed to produce 4 1/2 X 5 inch images on the "Patented" spring loaded Tisdell Double Dark slideholder (photos 14 & 15). The beautifully constructed Mahogany chassis has almost no marks . The "Waist Level" Viewfinder is "hidden" by the leather strap (photo 13). I purchased the camera a number of years ago and have always kept it well protected in my climatised, humidity controlled storage and removed it only for photographing and listing. I believe it would be impossible to find another example of this Extremely Rare Camera in This is DELUXE Version with beautiful gold trimmed Burgundy red bellows. The bellows are basically in very good condition and display well. There is some corner fraying and the left front corner is misfolded (see the photos). The camera has a geared "Rack and Pignon" focusing system and it works correctly by turning the knob on the lower front side. The small hole to the right of th focusing knob was to insert a cable release which attached to the small brass tube to release the shutter (see photo 4). Interestingly the Shutter can be "preset" and is released by simply reclosing the top.

The Tisdell & Whittesely is a " Real Detective" camera. It was made on special orders and cost $120- in 1888 (about $6,400- in todays value). I have been collecting rare Vintage cameras for over 40 years and this is the only example I have ever seen of this truly Deluxe Version! It is interesting to note that the world famous photographer, Alfred Steiglitz used an identical camera but with black bellows for his early images. He purchased the camera in 1892 and used it for his early masterpieces. The advantage of the camera was to be able to photograph without the subjects realizing he had a camera. The camera is now in the Kodak Museum collection. I believe it was a gift of Georgia O'keeffe."
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