Historic Tech is located in Royal Wootton Bassett, United Kingdom
20 Glass Photograph Plates '115 Images' from a CP Stirn Spy Camera c.1890
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I was excited to uncover this group of very rare glass photograph negatives. One of the very first spy/detective cameras was brought to production by CP Stirn in 1886 and was a small circular device which could be discreetly worn under a shirt with the tiny lens protruding through a button hole. Obviously purchased by the general public as a novelty item as well, the Stirn Vest Camera proved to be a good seller with an estimated 18,000 sold worldwide between 1886-90. A small geared dial and a shutter cord allowed the user to subtly capture up to six images per circular glass plate. While the Stirn Vest Cameras themselves are quite robust and turn up with regularity, the associated fragile small glass negatives are much rarer. What makes them particularly interesting images socially is because many were captured without the viewer's knowledge, they are also the very first natural candid photographs we have. Often they show late 19th Century life in a far more relaxed atmosphere than other contemporary images could hope to capture. This group of 20 glass negatives look to have all come from the same amateur photographer who travelled widely around England and Scotland during the last decade of the 19th Century. A few have the location helpfully scratched on the plate but others are recognisable landmarks. Since they were from an amateur these images really are diverse (and a few out of focus) and include: The coast of Devon, a Countryside walk, Wells Cathedral, Edinburgh and the Forth Bridge, family in the garden, busy town scenes, river trips and working harbours, a paint producer, and even a group of ducks waddling along together. Although I can't confirm it, two images show a man telling a small girl to look toward the camera and is probably the photographer himself. There are 115 images still viewable. I have simply photographed these negative plates using a light box and my own basic camera and inverted them to a positive image for you. With more care and editing you will get even better results. Naturally only a selection of images are included in this advert so let me know if you would like to view the full group or get a more detailed condition report. As far as I'm aware these images have never been published (let alone seen). Dimensions of each glass plate: 14 cm diameter.
Historic Tech has clarified that the 20 Glass Photograph Plates '115 Images' from a CP Stirn Spy Camera c.1890 (LA355200) is genuinely of the period declared with the date/period of manufacture being c1890
Please see images but these glass negatives are mostly in fair untouched condition and vary in glass thickness. Some are yellowed and worn/spotted as to be expected and 18 of the plates are whole and there are 2 plates cut intentionally in half. Five of the images have sadly been damaged or faded beyond recognition, but the rest as you can see are still mostly crisp.
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This 20 Glass Photograph Plates '115 Images' from a CP Stirn Spy Camera c.1890 is located in Royal Wootton Bassett, United Kingdom