Early Accessories - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Photographic Color Box

Horne & Thornthwaite



Image of Photographic Color Box

Mahogany box containing: Powder colours of carmine, flesh No2, yellow No2, brown, green No3, blue No1, damask. Dish. One dish is missing.

This is a small colouring set probably intended for tinting Daguerreotypes or collodion positives. One of the dishes is missing the other has silver staining. The spelling of color is interesting.

Wet-plate Printing Frame

Mahogany with dovetail joints. Thumbscrews of boxwood.

5" x 5" negatives.

At the time Printing Frames were usually known as Pressure Frames. Better quality models had hinged wooden bars secured by thumbscrews, one of the bars could be lifted without disturbing the print to view progress. Cheaper models using springs were available similar to those used in later periods. The wooden bar pattern continued to be used in larger sizes particularly in the printing industry.

References & Notes:
Willats, Cat. 1851, p. 51. Knight, Cat. 1853, p. 35. Cox, Cat. 1858. Cox, Cat. 1873.

Christie's Cat. 11/12/2002 lots 126, 127. Shows examples from the Barron collection. Christie's Cat. 9/5/03 lot 294. Model by Griffin.

Silver Nitrate Bath

Glass container with slightly curved sides and ground top edge. With glass dipper.

4 " x 6 "

To sensitise the iodised collodion plate it was dipped into a bath of silver nitrate. The baths were narrow upright containers in which the plate was dipped vertically. The usual material was glass but ceramic, ebonite and Gutta Percha was also used. The plate was lowered into the bath using a dipper. This was sometimes of ribbed glass bent at one end to hold the plate, other patterns were of ebonite or metal with sliver prongs to hold the plate. The sides of the bath were bowed to allow the insertion of the dipper. Baths may be held in a simple frame with legs which held it upright, for travelling the bath would have been in a box with an air-tight lid. The vertical bath presented a smaller air surface than a flat dish and helped preserve the solution.

The solution for the bath varied but was typically: Nitrate of Silver, 40 grains; Alcohol, 25 minims; Distilled water, 1 fluid ounce. Nitric Acid was sometimes included. The temperature was not critical but had to be above 60F. The plate remained in the solution for about two minutes or so, it was then drained and put, whilst still moist, in the dark-slide of the camera.

References & Notes:
Horne & Thornthwaite, Cat. 1852, p. 16. Hennah, Collodion Directions, p. 10. Coe, Cameras, p. 21. Cyclopedia of Photography.

Further Information:
The Museum of the History of Science at Oxford has a dipping bath by R.W. Thomas.
Information on the Wet Collodion Process.

Cox, Cat. 1858, p. 14. Shows several types of bath. Christie's Cat. 11/12/2002 lot 128. Shows examples from the Barron collection. Isenberg, p. 36. Christie's Cat. 6/5/93 lot 262. Model by Rouch. Christie's Cat. Model by R.W. Thomas.

Thomas Plate Holder

R.W. Thomas



Image of Thomas Plate Holder

This is a pneumatic plate holder for use when coating the plate with collodion and developing. The suction pad is operated by a screw in the handle.

Cardboard box.

Further Information:
Information on the Wet Collodion Process.

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