Antique folding ,German Gauthier Camera, Vario 1912. Very rare

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Antique folding ,German Gauthier Camera, Vario 1912. Very rare

Size 17 x 8 cm

The Vario is a long-lived series of leaf shutters that were made by the German company Gauthierbased in Calmbach.

The Vario appeared in 1912, the same year as the Pronto, and both shutter models were modified in 1929.

The early Vario is a 2-blade dial-set type. It is also an everset type so the tensioning and release of the shutter are performed with the same lever.
Later Vario shutters are 5-blade rim-set types and have separate levers for the tensioning and the release of the shutter.

Most Vario shutters have 25, 50, 100, B, T speed settings. Another wide-spread variant has the speeds 1/25 sec., 1/50 sec., 1/200 sec., and B. After (during?) World War I Vario shutters were copied by the French manufacturer Gitzo and marketed under a number of names ('Platos', 'Plavicos', 'Vistar', 'Gitzo' (see Gitzo Shutters).

Gauthier is a German company, founded in 1902 by craftsman Alfred Gauthier in Calmbach in the Enz Valley, Black Forest. It made shutters like the Ibsor, Vario, Pronto and Prontor. Gauthier's first shutter was the Koilos three-leaf shutter with leather brake, introduced in 1904. The company logo shows a half open three-leaf shutter with the letters AGC, the abbreviation for Alfred Gauthier Calmbach. In 1908 the ISBO shutter was introduced, the first with a remote cable release thread and speeds down to 1 sec. In 1909 the company added machine construction to its portfolio. In 1931 Zeiss took over shares of the company. In 1935 a shutter with faster speeds was offered, the Prontor. After WWII the company was requisitioned by the military government of the French zone of occupied Germany. In 1948 the company could restart making machines and shutters. In 1964 the company began making optical production machinery. In 1969 it started making medical technology. In 1976 the whole production of shutters of the West-German Zeiss group was given to Gauthier. In 1999 the company started making optical devices for the production of micro-electronic chips. Nowadays the company is named Prontor.