Sunday, April 17

Simon Wing Very Rare Daguerreotype Camera of 1860

'A very rare original Simon Wing 1860 multiplying view camera, which may be the earliest of its kind still in existence. This early Southworth and Hawes designed studio camera was used for multiple images on a single 5'' x 7'' wet collodion glass plate, and was made by Simon Wing in Charlestown, Massachusetts circa 1860. Originally owned and used by daguerreotypist and photographer, O.W. Detwiler of Canton, Missouri, with his familial provenance included. Also previously on loan to The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas as part of an exhibition titled ''Turning Light into Silver'' from January 2005 to June 2005. The brass turning knobs are all demarcated with ''S WING'S PAT'' and ''DEC 4 1860.'' Constructed using fine grain wood and brass fittings. The camera consists of the storage box base, the back which is attached to the storage box base, the bellows which are attached to the back and the movable front shadow box where the lens is on a removable lens board that can be placed in one of four slots that are spaced at different distances from the back within the shadow box depending on the focal length of the lens. Viewing of the subject is done while looking at the image which is upside down on the removable ground glass back. Focusing is achieved by turning the brass knob on the lower right side of the storage box base, which moves the front shadow box - forward or back. This movable front shadow box is connected with the back via a square cornered leather bellows. The back of the camera is constructed so that vertical and lateral movements can be adjusted in order that several separate multiple images can be produced on one plate. There is a brass plate on the left side front of the back with measurements engraved to measure how far the holder is moved up or down to assist in the exact placement of the multiple images on the collodion covered glass plate. The back is solidly connected to the base on which the shadow box front is supported. There is a storage area in the base that is accessed via a fold down front door. The shutter was a hinged wood flap, which is now missing but easily replaced, that covered and uncovered the shadow box front. The shadow box front is roughly 10'' x 10''; the storage box base is 14'' x 6''; the back is 19.75'' x 22''; the base board is 14.75'' x 15''. Minor flaws include: lens board is not original to the camera; split in the wood on the right side of the storage box base; hinged shutter is missing; only one brass hinge on the top of the lid and one place in the wood that shows where the other brass hinge was located for the shutter; in the down position the bar does not contact the gear connected to the top knob or wheel on the top back of the camera. Also includes original Simon Wing tripod, one original S. Wing ground glass focusing insert, two original S. Wing wet collodion plate holders and one R. Walzl #670 brass rack with pinion drive waterhouse stop brass lens. Very good condition overall. The camera, lens and backs weigh approximately 50 pounds and the tripod weighs over 60 pounds. A very rare camera, with only one other known to be housed at the Kodak Museum.'

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