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Lancaster Le Merveilleux favori envoyer Print
Photos by FLAND text by FLAND. From the collection of FLAND
France Version française

Chronology of the Lancaster brand  New window

Manufactured in Grande-Bretagne from Circa 1882 until 1905.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
Sold listing on Ebay.com New window
Inventory number: 6754

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Lancaster Le Merveilleux

Traduction par Ernest Jackson.

This little 'Le "Merveilleux"' (original name in French) is very pretty! It is the Tom Thumb of a large family of Lancaster cameras. Lancaster was based in Birmingham (GB) and this model was launched with great success during the period of commercialisation of camera manufacture around 1880

Given that Lancaster had applied for various patents, it seems that they never had their own factory but sub-contracted to many local workshops while strictly controlling the product quality.

In 1882 they launched three ranges of cameras in various sizes (inevitably English!) cased in polished mahogany: Merveilleux, Méritoire and Instantograph, in increasing order of quality. They were manufactured in five contemporary formats from quarter-plate to 12 x 10 inches.

The camera shown is the entry-level and smallest size. [quarter-plate] It is of extremely simple but elegant construction. There is almost no adjustment available and the bellows is of cloth, rather than the leather of the more sophisticated ranges.

There is no shutter and it has to make do with a leather lens cap. Focussing is achieved using the image on the ground glass at the back, the hinged frame of which swings upwards to allow the double carrier for the plates to be inserted.

This model dates after 1888, when the initial design of the camera was modified and refined. It is beautiful, even when folded.

Lancaster Le Merveilleux