London, South Kensington
11 March 2003
Certo, Germany; 6½ x 9cm., lyre-shaped green alligator-skin covered body, green-leather bellows, bright-nickelled fittings and art nouveau-styled decorative metal work on the back and baseplate
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Brian Coe (1978), Cameras, p. 60.Lothrop & Auer (1978), Die Geheimkameras, p. 102-104.
Jiri Janda (1992), Camera Obscuras. Photographic Cameras 1840-1940, no. 503, p. 253, 256.
Certo of Dresden introduced their folding hand camera disguised as a handbag in 1906. The camera was also sold by J. Lancaster of Birmingham as the Ladies' Gem camera and by Hesekiel of Berlin as the Pampadour-Kamera.
Certo Fabrik Photographischer Apparate und Bedarfsartikel Ges. was granted British patent number 24,962 on 6 November 1906. The patent described a camera 'in the form of, and convertible into, ladies' bags'. It described the camera: The camera slides vertically into the bag which is of U-shape, side grooves and a spring catch being provided. The back of the camera has a decorated hinged plate for focussing purposes. The front of the bag is open to allow the folding baseboard to open. When not in use for carrying a camera, the front is closed by a suitable plate.
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