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Object Detail

'Century Grand' glass-plate field camera manufactured by Century Camera Company. The camera is self-casing, folding up into a box with a black embossed cow hide covering and handle. The triple extension telescopic bed and camera frame are made from mahogany with brass details and an ivory aperture scale. It has red leather bellows and a brass viewfinder. The camera is missing its lens. There is a black plate on the front of the camera that reads 'Century GRAND' in white lettering. There is a ground glass focussing screen in the rear with the rear cover released through a revolving mechanism. The camera is housed in a black leather case that is lined with purple velvet and divided into two spaces, one for the camera and one that contains two plate holders.
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This camera belonged to Eltham photographer and artist Nigel Douglas Connell. Nigel was born in Dunedin in 1874 and founded a photography business in Eltham in 1900 in partnership with his brother Rodney after being posted to the town by the Railways Department as a porter. Rodney acted as the salesman, whilst Nigel added painting and teaching art to his photographic skills. Nigel died in 1951, and the business was continued by his grandson Paul Connell and then Paul's wife Sheila. The studio eventually closed down in 2003.
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