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Christie's is offering in an auction of Travel, Science and Natural History on 25 April 2012 a camera obscura 'associated with' Nevil Story-Maskelyne, an early photographer who was close to Henry Fox Talbot and his circle. The catalogue text reads:
A CAMERA OBSCURA ASSOCIATED WITH NEVIL STORY-MASKELYNE,
Jones, mid 19th century
reflex model, the mahogany body of dovetail construction, with hinged lid, lens in wooden mount and 'push-pull' focusing front section, signed JONES Artist LONDON ; BY HIS MAJESTY'S SPECIAL APPOINTMENT No. 4, Wells Street Oxford Street. 12½in. (32cm.) long
Nevil Story Maskelyne (1823-1911).
Thence by descent.
Nevil Story-Maskelyne (1823-1911) left law for the Natural Sciences in 1847, and was soon lecturing on mineralogy, a field he would come to lead. His research ran from the petrology of Stonehenge to developing the collection of minerals and meteorites at the British Museum into the 'largest and best arranged series ... in existence' (ODNB online). He and his wife Thereza May Llewelyn were both involved in the pioneering of photography. He was close friends of William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-77) -- whose own camera obscura is held at the Science Museum London.
There is more on Story-Maskelyne here: Lassam, Robert E, 1980, ‘Nevil Story-Maskelyne, 1823-1911‘, History of Photography, vol.4, no.2, pp.85-93. As Luminous-Lint notes: He was a part of the social circle surrounding Henry Fox Talbot who gave him permission to learn the calotype process and he was taught by Talbot's operator Nicolaas Henneman.
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