British photographic history

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James A. Sinclair : biographical information sought

I am researching some photographs by the British camera manufacturer and dealer James A. Sinclair, FRPS. (d.1940).  A great deal seems to be known about his famous cameras; very little about himself.   It may well be that his life is more familiar to specialists in cameras and the camera industry than to specialists in photographs themselves.  I suspect, for example, that as an eminent dealer in the heart of London – and as the author of distinguished how-to books – Sinclair may well have had extensive correspondence with amateur photographers; but I have found no vestige of it so far. 

If members have come across references to this once-eminent person in photographic circles, I would be glad if they would let me know.

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Comment by Ken Jacobson on November 26, 2015 at 17:39

Hi, Francis. I wrote a tiny biography of Sinclair in my book on Orientalist photography. I don't expect there would be anything very new there. We had and might still have some small but nice quality photogravures signed by Sinclair. They are typically pictorialist works but are not particularly saccharine.

Let me know if any of this sounds like it might be useful.



Comment by Mike Fisher on November 16, 2015 at 20:46

I guess you may have seen the James A Sinclair listing on the "Historic Camera" see here.  Tom Kowach of HC has a wealth of info, if you haven't had a word with Tom.

Comment by Michael Pritchard on November 16, 2015 at 19:12

Let me know if you want his obituary from the RPS Journal. 

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