Bolex H16 stand

Bolex Dealer Camera Display Stand

February 6, 2007 -- Michael Tisdale
Here's one of the more unique items from my Bolex collection: it's a promotional camera stand that was supplied to franchised Bolex dealers who wanted to attractively display their merchandise.

The base of the stand is made from lightweight aluminum and painted with a glossy black and gold finish. A camera mount is screwed into the bottom of the base and a brass Paillard Bolex emblem is attached to the front.

Bolex dealer displays and signage are difficult items to find; items like this were never intended for the consumer and as such were made in small numbers.

A rough count of camera shops listed as "Authorized Bolex Franchised Dealers" during 1963 shows nearly 1,000 locations in the United States alone. [1] However, unlike companies such as Kodak who manufactured a wide range of dealer store displays and promotional items, Paillard doesn't seem to have produced any in large quantities.

Bolex Dealer Stand
A decorative display stand with Paillard-Bolex logo.

This particular style of display stand, as best as I can determine, was used in stores during the 1950s. The triangular base measures 6 inches (15cm) in length across each side. The 4" (10cm) diameter brass plate features an embossed Paillard-Bolex logo in gold, red and black gloss finish. The stand onto which the camera is mounted has a height of about 4 1/4" inches (approximately 11cm).

Bolex Mounting Screw
A combined 3/8" and 1/4" thread mount.

The base and stand are sturdy and allow almost any type of camera to be mounted for display. The milled knob is removable and uses both 1/4" and 3/8" mounting threads to fit both pocket size cameras and model H cameras. When no camera is attached, the knob remains in place with an aluminum tension lever.

Bolex D8L stand
Here, a D8L is mounted to the stand by reversing the mounting screw.

The stand makes a great display piece and it's a shame that they rarely come up in circulation on eBay or elsewhere. Sure, the thrill of hunting for and eventually finding unique pieces of memorabilia is part of what makes camera collecting fun. But, actually using these classic cameras makes the hobby even more enjoyable. Incidentally, the H16 Supreme I used in the photo at the top of the page was recently serviced. While it might look great on a display stand, it's time to order some more film stock and take it off the shelf.

1"Your Bolex Franchised Dealers," (New York: Paillard Inc., March 1, 1963).