Warhol’s Polaroid camera an instant hit at Heritage

Andy Warhol’s Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera sold for $13,750 Tuesday. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

DALLAS – The Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera owned and used by Andy Warhol’s during the height of his career in the early 1970s, sold for $13,750 during a public auction of photographs and related memorabilia, on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at Heritage Auctions.

“Warhol was almost never without a camera and his camera of choice was the Polaroid SX-70.  He used it to take portraits of his friends and document his life,” said Nigel Russel, director of photography at Heritage Auctions. “It’s an iconic piece of photographic and art history.”

Andy Warhol with his Polaroid SX-70, which he used often. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Polaroid SX-70 cameras were produced from 1972 to 1981. Warhol’s 1974 model appears like any other of the period. It is chrome-plated with brown leather panels and comes with a partially used Flash Bar 10. In 1971 Warhol began to make portraits of celebrities, dealers, collectors and industrialists with Polaroid instant cameras.

Attesting to the camera’s provenance, it was accompanied by a signed letter from John Wilcock, dated 2009, stating that Warhol gave him the camera around 1985-1986. Wilcock was a close friend of Warhol’s. Wilcock co-founded Interview Magazine with Warhol in 1969 and published The Autobiography and Sex Life of Andy Warhol in 1971.