Ensignette No 2 - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Ensignette No 2

1912

Houghtons Ltd

London

England

Image of Ensignette No 2

Lens:
f11, achromatic meniscus, sector stops - f11, f16, f22.

Shutter:
Pivoted two-blade return, T and I settings.

Construction:
Black painted brass body, leather bellows.

Format:
6, 2" x 3" exposures on paper backed roll-film, Ensign E2 size.

Focusing:
Close-up lenses.

Attributes:
Brilliant view-finder for landscape only.
Film-advance indicated by red window, not coupled to shutter.

Identification:
Ensign flag logo on end tab.

Serial Number:
3363 .

With:
Set of three close focusing lenses: 3', 6', 9'. In leather pouch. Case.

Ensignette De Luxe

Model 2B

c.1913

Houghtons Ltd

London

England

Image of Ensignette De Luxe

Lens:
f6.3, T.T.H. Cooke Anastigmat, iris diaphragm to f32. Serial no. 74767 .

Shutter:
Simplex, three-blade leaf type, speeds - 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, B, T. Rim-set version.

Construction:
Black painted brass body, leather bellows.

Format:
6, 2" x 3" exposures on paper backed roll-film, Ensign E2 size.

Focusing:
To 5 feet.

Attributes:
Brilliant view-finder, swivels for portrait or landscape.
Film-advance indicated by red window, not coupled to shutter.

Serial Number:
48455 .

Notes:
Probably made around 1920.

With:
Direct-vision optical view-finder, negative lens only without pointer. Leather case.

Ensignette De Luxe

Model 2C

1916

Houghtons Ltd

London

England

Image of Ensignette De Luxe

Lens:
f8, Plutar Aplanat, iris diaphragm to f64.

Shutter:
Ultex, three-blade leaf type, speeds - 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, B, T.

Construction:
Black painted brass body, leather bellows.

Format:
6, 2" x 3" exposures on paper backed roll-film, Ensign E2 size.

Focusing:
To 5 feet.

Attributes:
Brilliant view-finder, a button release moves the finder for landscape.
Film-advance indicated by red window, not coupled to shutter.

Serial Number:
A6716 .

With:
Leather case.

Ensignette No 2

Aluminium model

1920

Houghtons Ltd

London

England

Image of Ensignette No 2

Lens:
f8, rapid rectilinear, iris diaphragm to f32.

Shutter:
Pivoted two-blade return, spring powered, speeds - 1/20, 1/40, 1/60, B, T.

Construction:
Aluminium body, leather bellows.

Format:
6, 2" x 3" exposures on paper backed roll-film, Ensign E2 size.

Focusing:
Fixed.

Attributes:
Brilliant view-finder, swivels for portrait or landscape.
Film-advance indicated by red window, not coupled to shutter.

Serial Number:
6897 .

Notes:
The Ensignette with the aluminium body and f8 lens was advertised between 1920 and 1921.

With:
Leather case.

The Ensignette was introduced in 1909 for 1 ½" x 2 ¼" exposures on special size roll-film. In form it is similar to the earlier Block-Notes (1902) but differs in using roll-film rather than plates. It is an early example of a miniature bellows, roll-film camera, a type which was to become popular with the introduction of the V.P.K. from Eastman (1912).

The camera was designed by Magnus Nièll. For its size it took large images, a point emphasised in advertisements along with the advantages of roll-film over plates. The Ensignette proved very popular, a number of different models were produced and in 1912 a larger version for 2" x 3" exposures was introduced.

The earliest cameras were made of brass with leather bellows (un-pleated in the case of the smaller size). The finish was black with nickel fittings. For a few years prior to WW1 a nickel plated model with red leather bellows was sold in each size (with a matching red leather case). From 1920 the camera body was made of aluminium. There were also slight constructional differences, notably the camera back was corrugated, necessary with the more pliable aluminium.

A Vest Pocket size for 1 ⅝" x 2 ½" exposures on 1J (127) roll-film was introduced in 1923, three years later production of the other sizes ceased, the VP model lasted a few more years.

Two other cameras with the Ensignette name were produced: Ensignette Junior (1913) and the Popular Ensignette (1922). These were strut type roll-film cameras for 2 ¼" x 3 ¼" exposures but do not resemble the smaller models.

Ensignette Models

No 1
For 6, 1 ½" x 2 ¼" exposures on E1 size roll-film. Introduced in 1909. Eastman produced 128 film for this camera in 1913.

No 2
For 6, 2" x 3" exposures on E2 roll-film. Introduced in 1912. Eastman produced 129 film for this camera in 1913.

De-Luxe
A model 2 with a higher quality shutter.

Vest Pocket Ensign
Similar to a model 2 but uses the standard 127 size roll-film. Introduced in 1923.

No. 1 Nickel plated finish
Usually fitted with red bellows. c.1912.

No. 2 Nickel plated finish
c.1912.

No. 1 Gilt finish

No. 2 Gilt finish

Variations

  • The end tabs of the early model No 1 are plain. From around 1911 an embossed flag logo was added to the right-hand tab and patent details to the left-hand tab.
  • Aluminium body from 1920. The back of the camera is corrugated, there are elliptical bulges on the end tabs, a swivelling finder is present on the No. 1 as well as the No. 2. A speeded shutter is fitted to the simple models.

Accessories

  • Swivelling direct-vision finder for fitting to the front plate, introduced around 1910.
  • Printing box for postcard size prints.
  • Daylight developing tank.
  • Portrait attachments, set of 3.
  • Tripod attachment.
  • Lady's suede bag.
  • Lady's morocco wrist bag.
  • Solid leather case, black, brown or pigskin.

References & Notes:
BP 28464/1907. BP 14489/1908. BP 165575/1920. BJA 1910, pp. 294, 688. BJA 1911, p. 297. BJA 1912, pp. 318, 746. BJA 1915, pp. 213, 568, 566. BJA 1917, p. 156. BJA 1921, p. 155. BJA 1922, pp. 165, 650. AP 29/3/1910, pp. xvi, supplement. Ensign Handbook.

Further Information:
Lothrop, Century, p.117.

Illustrations:
Christie's Cat. 9/11/1989 lot 108. 3" x 2" presentation model no. 2892 with a label on the box: 'P/A1235/1/2/12'.


Company Details:

Houghton

Scénographe

Shew Eclipse

Xit

Focal Plane Xit

Stereo Xit

Euxit

Idento

Tropical Idento

Dallmeyer Strut Camera

Folding Frena

Tylar's Pocket Tit-Bit

Jeffrey & Wishart's Patent

Adams Vesta

Nydia

Natti

Pocket Cyko No 1

Ensign Focal Plane Camera

Goerz Anschütz

Ernemann Tropical Klapp

Block-Notes

Vest Pocket Tenax

Klippa

Ensignette No 1

Ensignette No 2

Vest Pocket Ensign

Ensignette Junior No. 2J

Popular Ensignette

Rajar No. 6

No. 2 Hawkette

Cadet Model B

Ensign Midget

Double-8

Welta Gucki

Foth Derby

Dallmeyer Snapshot

Tropical Deckrullo

Makina II