Auction Team Breker camera sale March 17 has touch of magic

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Nine 19th-century astronomical magic lantern slides, all in excellent condition. Auction Team Breker image

COLOGNE, Germany – Auction Team Breker’s Spring Photographica auction on March 17 presents the personal collection of the late Danklev Hansen, retired TV-cameraman. Absentee and Internet bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.


As one of the last working “lanternists,” Hansen collected early hand-painted English magic lantern slides, metamorphoses, dissolving views and ghostly effects, which celebrated a 19th-century passion for the supernatural and the surreal. Estimates for these scarce and collectible items (above) range from €200-€2,000/$250-$2,500.

Also on offer is the necessary hardware, such as a rare tinplate “Factory” magic lantern (below) by Georges Carette & Co. of Nuremberg (est. €4,000-€6,000/$5,000-$7,500).

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‘The Factory’ magic lantern, 1895, rare magic lantern by Georges Carette & Co., Nuremberg, with burner and original wooden box. Auction Team Breker image

Optical toys, persistence of vision devices and 35mm movie cameras like the Debrie Interview of 1924 (est. €2,000-€2,500/$2,500-$3,000) provide a rare glimpse into the dawn of cinema.

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Debrie Interview 35mm movie camera, circa 1924, André Debrie, Paris, with Tessar 1:3.5/5 cm lens. Auction Team Breker image

Victorian invention is at hand in the form of Lancaster’s patent gentlemen’s pocket watch camera (est. €30,000-€40,000/$40,000-$50,000) and a fine stereo wet-plate camera with Vallantin lenses (Lot 338, estimate: €5,000-€6,000/$6,000-$7,500).

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Lancaster’s Patent Watch Camera, ‘Men’s Model,’ circa 1886, Lancaster, Birmingham, England – a rare detective camera. Auction Team Breker image

An array of antique, vintage and usable photographic equipment includes scarce spy cameras like the Doryu 2-16 flash pistol of 1955 (est. €6,000-€7,000/$7,500-$8,500) and a lifetime collection of Leica, Nikon and Canon rangefinder cameras and their lenses.

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Doryu 2-16 Flash Camera, 1955, Doryu Camera Co. Ltd., Japan. with flash cartridges shaped like bullets, 16mm film in special cassettes. Auction Team Breker image

The auction also has a superb Voigtländer Bessa II folding camera, circa 1950, with a rare Apo-Lanthar lens (lot 98, est. €5,000-€8,000/$6,000-$10,000).