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Lot 0004
Large mahogany/brass 5"x7" plate; with focal glass, bulb remote.
Splendidly furnished plate or view-camera, manufactured by Seneca Camera Co. in Rochester, NY during the first decade of the 20th century. While the Seneca company would eventually transition into folding camera designs along the lines of Kodak, their early work in traditional plate cameras is exquisite- the same venerable designs that captured images of Buffalo Bill, Yellowstone park, and the first electric lights to illuminate the nights in Rochester. This varnished mahogany Competitor model, with uprated Duo dual release shutter, is in good cosmetic and even mechanical condition- all hinges and locking nuts/thumbscrews tighten, loosen, and shift as expected. The original ground glass focusing plate is intact, its spring clips still flexible and awaiting a fresh photographic plate. The lens is not cracked, and easily removes- as does the entire front plate and shutter mount- for easy cleaning and service. The bellows, often destroyed by age in cameras of this vintage, are tight, flex easily, and have no visible exterior cracks. The shutter cocks and fires, and although shutter speeds cannot be verified, the Bulb and Time features work as expected- even the original rubber bulb remote, virtually always rotten with time and moisture, is intact and still fires the shutter on this rare find. Verdigris and patina present on a few components, this otherwise splendid piece of photographic and American history would make an ideal display, intact as it is- and just as easily, a fine tool for the enterprising collector who wishes to expose a fresh 5X7 sheet, a century after Seneca put on the final coat of varnish.

Issued: 1900s
Dimensions: 14.5"L x 9"D x 11.5"H, fully extended
Manufacturer: Seneca Camera Mfg. Co.
Country of Origin: United States


Age and use related wear, as-is

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Estimate $300 - $800May 23