The Lily (リリー) are Japanese plate folders made by Rokuoh-sha, the manufacturing branch of Konishi or Konishiroku (predecessors of Konica). This page is about the original tefuda-size vertical model introduced in 1909, called Lily Hand Camera (リリー手提暗函), then Lily No.1 (リリー壹號) after the introduction of the Lily No.2.
The vertical Lily has a mixed construction with a wooden main body and a metal folding bed. The bellows have double extension, driven by a knob on the photographer's right. The front standard is made of various metal parts assembled together, instead of the single U-shaped part found on later models. It allows vertical and horizontal movements. There is a brilliant finder atop the left branch of the front standard, and a bubble level is normally attached to it. The name Lily is inscribed on a round plate attached to the left-hand side of the body.
- Goerz Dagor Ser.III No.0 lens, Compound shutter, ¥120;
- Simili (シミリ) Anastigmat lens, Koilos shutter, ¥65;
- Universal Rapid lens, Auto shutter, ¥50.
The December 1911 catalogue by Konishi Honten says that the Lily received the Gold Prize at the Japan-British Exhibition, which took place at White City in London from May to October 1910. The document gives the English name Lily Hand Camera and the Japanese name リリー手提薄形暗函, meaning "Lily Slim Hand Camera", and the text emphasizes on the camera's slim size. The lens and shutter options are slightly altered:
- Goerz Dagor Ser.III No.0 lens, Koilos shutter, ¥110;
- Extra Aplanat lens, Compound shutter, ¥65;
- Universal Rapid lens, Auto shutter, ¥50.
The case is offered for ¥3.50 extra.
The vertical model appears as the Lily No.1 (リリー壹號) in an advertisement dated 1921, along with the horizontal Lily No.2. The camera presented in the illustration is indistinguishable from the model pictured in the 1909 advertisement. The following versions are listed, but no price is given:
- Voltas f/8 lens, Victo shutter;
- Idea Anastigmat f/7.5 lens, Victo shutter;
- Velostigmat Ser.IV f/6.3 lens, Auto shutter;
- Collinear f/6.3 lens, Compur shutter.
The surviving examples present small variations. Two types of folding struts are known: the narrow type is the same as pictured in the 1909 and 1922 advertisements cited above, and the other type, presumably later, has a wider base.
One example is known with the wider struts and a Gammax shutter. Another reportedly has a Wollensak Velostigmat Ser.IV (135/6.3) and an Optimo shutter (T, B, 1–300). It has no bubble level and has a black instead of polished metal brilliant finder.
An example of the vertical Lily is known with a slightly wider body, called "Lily No.2" in Sugiyama for some reason. It is very similar to the Lily No.1 with narrow struts but for the body size, and has a folding Newton finder added to the left side of the body, in addition to the brilliant finder. It reportedly has a Wollensak Voltas f/8 lens and a Victo shutter (T, B, 10–100).
- The phrase tesage anbako (手提暗函) is rendered as "Hand Camera" in the Konishi catalogue dated December 1911. In modern sources, it is often translated as "Portable Camera" and the camera called "Lily Portable". The Japanese word anbako literally means "dark box"; it was modeled after "camera obscura" and was used for cameras until around the 1910s.
- Metal folding bed: Kikuoka, p.26 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
- Date: chronological list given in the official company history Shashin to tomo ni hyaku-nen, reproduced in Tanaka, p.94 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10. The same date is given in Kikuoka, p.26 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
- Advertisement reproduced in the R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha website.
- This page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha says that the Dagor lens is a 120/6.8.
- Universal Rapid by Bausch & Lomb: this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha. Wollensak Auto shutters are mentioned in various Internet websites.
- See this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha.
- December 1911 catalogue of Konishi Honten, p.13. Received the Gold Medal at the Japan-British Exhibition: 日英博覧会金賞受領. Took place at White City in London from May to October 1910: this English Wikipedia page.
- December 1911 catalogue of Konishi Honten, p.13: 特別薄形.
- See this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha, which mentions a Protar Ser.IIIa No.1 (120/9) and a Tessar Ser.IIb No.4 (135/6.3), and the Rodenstock Extra Rapid Aplanat from 1912.
- Advertisement reproduced in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha.
- Example with narrow struts pictured in Kikuoka, p.26 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10. Examples with wider struts pictured in Kikuoka, p.26 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, and in Sugiyama, item 1117.
- Example pictured in Kikuoka, p.26 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
- Sugiyama, item 1117.
- Sugiyama, item 1119.
- Kikuoka Sei (菊岡清). "Konica history 3. Meiji 41-nen – Taishō 12-nen." (Konica history 3. 明治41年–大正12年. From Meiji year 41 (1908) to Taishō year 12 (1923).) Kamera Rebyū: Kurashikku Kamera Senka (カメラレビュー クラシックカメラ専科) / Camera Review: All about Historical Cameras no.10, September 1987. No ISBN number. Konishiroku kamera no rekishi (小西六カメラの歴史, special issue on Konishiroku). Pp.24–32.
- Konishi Honten. Saishin Shashin Kikai Mokuroku (最新写真器械目録, Latest catalogue of photographic apparatus). Published on December 18, 1911. Recent reprint.
- Lewis, Gordon, ed. The History of the Japanese Camera. Rochester, N.Y.: George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography & Film, 1991. ISBN 0-935398-17-1 (paper), 0-935398-16-3 (hard). P.23. (Brief mention only.)
- McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). P.538.
- Sugiyama, Kōichi (杉山浩一); Naoi, Hiroaki (直井浩明); Bullock, John R. The Collector's Guide to Japanese Cameras. 国産カメラ図鑑 (Kokusan kamera zukan). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1985. ISBN 4-257-03187-5. Items 1117 and 1119.
- Tanaka Yoshirō (田中芳郎). "Meiji–Taishō jidai no Konishi Honten no kamera wo shiru tame no hon" (明治・大正時代の小西本店のカメラを知るための本, Books about the Konishi Honten cameras of the Meiji and Taishō eras). Kamera Rebyū: Kurashikku Kamera Senka (カメラレビュー クラシックカメラ専科) / Camera Review: All about Historical Cameras no.10, September 1987. No ISBN number. Konishiroku kamera no rekishi (小西六カメラの歴史, special issue on Konishiroku). Pp.92–4.
- Pages of the R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha website:
|Konishiroku prewar and wartime cameras ( )|
|plate||hand cameras||stereo hand cameras||strut folders||box||telephoto||SLR|
|Idea (original) | Idea A | Idea B | Idea Snap | Idea No.1 | Idea (metal) | Lily (original) | Lily (horizontal) | Lily (metal) | Tropical Lily | Noble | Ohca | Sakura Palace | Sakura Pocket Prano | Sakura Prano||Idea Binocular | Sakura Binocular Prano||Minimum Idea | Idea Spring | Korok||Champion | Cherry | Sakura Army | Sakura Honor | Sakura Navy||Idea Telephoto||Idea Reflex (1910 and 1911) | Idea Reflex (1932) | Neat Reflex | Sakura Reflex Prano|
|rollfilm||folders||box or collapsible||TLR|
|Pearlette | Special Pearlette | B Pearlette | Pearl (for plates and rollfilm) | Pearl No.2 | Pearl (Year 8) | Baby Pearl | Semi Pearl | Sakura Palace||Record | Sakura (box) | Sakura (bakelite)||Sakura-flex|