Antique Reynolds & Branson Mahogany Photographic Camera Plate/Slide Viewer (Code 1506)
A very interesting late 19th century mahogany photographic plate viewer for retouching of negatives by Reynolds and Branson of Leeds, England. The firm of Reynolds and Branson were noted for pharmaceutical, scientific and photographic equipment and operated until 1972. Typical for the period this item is well made and good looking as well as functional. It has a Z fold operation as you can see in the images. The base contains a mirror which can be angled to reflect light upwards. The center fold has a frosted ground glass and matt black cut outs which remove to accommodate different sized plates. The top fold acts as a shade to keep down the ambient light from above. There is also a drawer for storage. and the fittings are of brass. There is a plate set into the front with the makers details.
Rather like a modern slide viewer this item backlights glass photographic plates or negatives so they can be studied in detail and also allows the user to retouch negatives by hand. It is possible this item was made for a studio, or could have simply been used by an amateur photographer. Some Reynolds & Branson cameras come up from time to time but this is the first example of a negative re-toucher/viewer we have come across and no other readily available references appear to exist making this example likely extremely rare.
Age related wear with quite a few small knocks and dents but nothing which spoils the item or looks out of place - see images for surface condition. Some slack in the brass props. Glass and mirror seem original. One eyelet to the side latches missing. Does of course still work and and would look superb in a period setting.
Width: 32.5 cm ( 12 7/8 inch )
Depth: 32.5 cm ( 12 7/8 inch )
Weight: 2780 grams (before packing)
Stock Code: 1506 OC18-4
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