No. 5 Folding Kodak of Archduchess Maria Theresa von Braganza (1892)
This is a very special specimen of the No. 5 Folding Kodak: it once was the property of princess Maria Theresa von Braganza, infante of Portugal, (24 August 1855 – 12 February 1944). She became by marriage an Archduchess of Austria and also sister-in-law of Emperors Franz Joseph I of Austria and Maximilian I of Mexico, as well as the stepmother of Franz Ferdinand von Österreich-Este. Since 1896 Franz Ferdinand was heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary . His assassination in Sarajevo on June 28th 1914 is considered the trigger of the First World War. Maria Theresa was a keen amateur photographer and many of her photographs can be found in online collections, showing the life of the highest European aristocracy.
Her camera is in extremely fine condition and even has the original key of the top lid lock. It is a modified version of the first model, with a door in the back panel, so it can be used with glass plate holders as well. But the camera has a beautiful Eastman roll holder with a unused roll of film in it. A special feature is the little bell in the roll holder. It strikes when enough film is wound to make the next exposure. Another special feature is a complicated exposure counter on top of the roll holder. I have never seen this before and I think is was especially made for this camera. There is a peep hole in the top lid to view the number of the counter, but it is so small and dark that I think it was useless. The shutter is a standard Barker shutter which was fitted in 1892 only. It often had problems and many Barker shutters were replaced by the owners for a better one.
Exposure counting mechanism on top of the roll holder.
The holder is fully loaded with an unused film. On the right the bell can be seen. It is connected to the measuring roller on the right.
Maria Therese von Braganza (photo: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek)
A sample of a photo that was taken by Maria Therese von Braganza. I do not know with which camera this one was made. (photo: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek)