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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Ellis Tilter Camera tilter for tripod



  I am trying to get any history on an item I have. It is an Ellis Tilter attachment for a tripod. I have it listed on ebay currently so you can see it (See picture 3). I know what the tripod is but I am absolutely puzzled on the tilter. Can you offer any information on this? Let me know if you have any questions. I appreciate any insight you have. Thanks!

Ebay Item # 301659070436



There's really no history to provide. It's actually a very generic unit. I'm not specifically familiar with Ellis, although I have seen the name on other vintage photo accessories over the years, but this style and shape of tilting platform is pretty much exactly the same as models sold under many other names. The tripod and tilting platform are definitely of the same period, roughly 1920-1930, they make a nice match, but your asking price of $200 is probably pushing the high end of market value. I'm aware of what eBay sellers ask for tripod set-ups like this, but more importantly I know what these things actually sell for. Obviously there's a difference. The Sharman isn't rare, I'm looking at three of them leaning in my tripod racks on the other side of my collection storeroom right now, they're actually very common in the west coast states, and they're also about as generic in style as a tripod can get. I'd suggest a top value for the package at maybe $150, and it would probably sell immediately at $100. Frankly, if anybody offers $125, it's a win-win for both of you.

Best wishes,

David F. Silver - President
International Photographic Historical Organization  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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David Silver


I'm an expert on all types of antique and classic CAMERAS, vintage PHOTOGRAPHS, and the HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY. Everything from ancient box cameras to modern single-lens-reflex; from simple Kodaks to sophisticated Leica and Nikon; from glass plates and roll film to movie and 35mm; from daguerreotypes and tintypes to the black & white images by the 20th century masters. I can identify and appraise, explain techniques and processes, offer insights on restoration and preservation, and provide guidelines for buying and selling.


I've been a professional photographer and a student of the history of photography for over 30 years. During that time my collection of vintage cameras and photographic paraphernalia has grown beyond 2000 significant pieces. I've published nearly 70 articles in the field, including 16 in the popular "Buying Classic Cameras" series for PHOTO SHOPPER MAGAZINE from 1995 to 1997, I'm currently a contributing editor for CAMERA SHOPPER MAGAZINE and McKEOWN'S PRICE GUIDE TO ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC CAMERAS, and I've written numerous entries for WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA. Portions of my collection have been displayed in museums and special exhibits in the past two decades, and many of the items were photographed as illustrations for books. In 1985 I founded the International Photographic Historical Organization (InPHO), which eventually evolved into its intended purpose as the best first resource for information on the history of photography. I'm also a founding member of several e-mail forums dedicated to specialized areas of photography, and I'm the moderator of the Internet Directory of Camera Collectors (IDCC), which remains the largest and most successful such group in the world. For more information about the International Photographic Historical Organization and its many services, please visit its web pages at:

BA and MA in anthropology

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