CHICAGO – Antique and collectible cameras that are seldom encountered by collectors will be offered in Tamarkin Rare Camera Auctions’ fall sale Nov. 11. More than 200 lots of cameras and photographic accessories comprise the catalog. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
Among rare antique cameras, the Hegelein Watch Camera (above) is one of the hardest to find. Only a few of these pocket watch-style cameras are known to exist. The Hegelein Watch Camera, also known as Anthony’s Watch Camera, was designed by New Yorker John C. Hegelein circa 1894. He designed this subminiature pocket watch camera to use removable wooden plate holders for single-exposure film. When the watch winding mechanism is pressed, the front of the case opens and the user can extend the telescoping lens by hand. The back opens also to accept a film plate. The camera, which made circular images, sold for $5 around the turn of the 20th century.
The revered Leica brand is prominent throughout the sale, with 57 lots produced by Ernest Leitz’s optical company.
A prime example is the rare Leica 72 (below), an 18 x 24 half-frame camera. Designed for filmstrip and archival work, the half-frame Leica 72 enables the user to get 72 photographs from a roll of 36-exposure film. Less than 200 cameras were made between 1950 and 1963, making it one of the rarest production screw-mount Leica cameras. This camera was made toward the end of that run – nine copies from the last.
Made for Leica cameras is the Sabre Stock, made in 1956-1957 by the Sabre Photographic Supply Co., a Leica parts supplier, The Sabre, this rifle stock alternative to the Leica Rifle, was never marketed by Leitz and produced for about one year. Perhaps a few hundred exist, although the exact number is unknown. Beautifully built to Leica’s own standard, the Sabre Stock set offered in the auction is complete and working.
The most remarkable of the Leitz offerings is a pristine example of the rare Leica MP, a professional 35mm camera that was produced in low numbers – this one is no. 50. Delivered to a New York dealer on July 29, 1957, this museum-quality MP has been stored in a vault for 50 years. The camera is complete with the Leicavit MP winder in matching black enamel. Because of its extremely high value (est. $250,000-$400,000), prospective buyers must contact Tamarkin Tamarkin Rare Camera Auctions directly to bid on this camera.
Also featured are a few large format view cameras – two by Deardorff – early brass lenses, and a small selection of scarce Nikon and Canon cameras and accessories.