Auzoux & Cie, Opticiens, Fabricants, Paris, France       1860's


Auzoux portrait lens manufactured by "Auzoux & Cie., Opt ens, Fab ants, Paris" which translates to "Auzoux & Company, Opticiens, Makers, Paris":





Compared with other well known French lens makers, relatively little is known of Auzoux who was a smaller manufacturer.  A reference found on the 1st Dibs website may lend some insight into the company's origins: "French anatomist and naturalist Dr. Louis Thomas Jérôme Auzoux (1797-1880). Dr. Auzoux had a workshop in Normandy making human and veterinary anatomical models. This is a 48 inch tall male model of exceptional detail, meticulously painted and labeled. The body has several parts that can be removed to show the full structure and are held in place with pins and latches. Hand signed on the right thigh: Auzoux & Cie. 1858."


At some point, Auzoux partnered with opticien Adolphe Charles Bauz of Paris (believed established in either 1863 or 1865 by various accounts), with lenses having been found marked "Auzoux & Bauz".  Auzoux was also associated with lensmaker E. Francais, reportedly about 1863-1867, whereafter Francais struck off on his own. With limited information to go on, it's undetermined (by me) whether Auzoux existed as a sole proprietorship prior to his partnerships with either Bauz or Francais, or whether he began alone after one of these partnerships dissolved.


The lens featured here, equipped with a tangential drive and a slot for Waterhouse stops, bears Serial No. 11,205. Shown as acquired, the lens has a box mount that once employed a pneumatic shutter located behind the lens. As seen in the photos, with the lens' base extending fully into the box, the lens measures 15-7/16" in height, with a 5-5/8" barrel diameter and a 6-3/4" lens shade diameter. The entire unit including its box mount weighs exactly 17 pounds.



Whether marked "Auzoux & Cie", "Auzoux & Francais" or "Auzoux & Bauz", lenses by this maker are not seen very often.