Thornton Pickard 12 x 15 inch camera

I picked up this 12 x 15 inch Thornton Pickard camera at auction. Was lucky to get it for a good price as they didn’t offer any online bidding so I just left a healthy absentee bid and surprisingly got it for much less than I expected. I still have my Billcliff 12×15 so will compare them and decide which to keep.






I was a little worried that there must have been something major wrong with it if nobody else wanted to bid further. Luckily when it arrived it didn’t look too bad. Until I noticed one of the rear standard locking nuts had snapped off during packing. Luckily it had snapped of at its extreme end so there’s enough thread left for it to be useable.


I decided to take it all apart to see if there was anything else, and the other side of the rear standard had a screw loose… A little wood filler and glue and its fine.


The bellows at first glance looked salvageable but the usual bookbinding tape I use just wouldn’t stick. The bellows seem to be made out of some sort of painted card, and it just flakes off when the tape is applied. The corners could have been liquid taped but I wasn’t too happy with the rest of it, so I’ve measured up and have ordered a brand new set of bellows. Now normally I’d try to make my own but these are a fair size so I’ll leave it to the professionals.



It came with three 12×15 plate holders, which was part of its appeal, the Billcliff camera I lent to someone came back a little worse for wear after having silver nitrate left sitting in it. Had to do some repairs to the wood in that holder, so this one having three was a bonus. Or so I thought, one of them isn’t for this camera. Its for a Lancaster 12×15 so a totally different fit. That will be sold on, if you happen to have that camera then get in touch.

Its been given a good clean and polish, even the brass work is shining again, and put back together. Bellows should be here in a few weeks.

Only other thing I need to sort is tripod adaptation, but, I have a cunning plan!