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Cameras, photographs and optical toys on auction at Christie's.

Cameras, photographs and optical toys on auction at Christie's. - A selection of cameras from the 1920s to 1990s are about to go on auction at Christie's in South Kensington.

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Cameras, photographs and optical toys on auction at Christie's.
Cameras, photographs and optical toys on auction at Christie's.
Press Release:
This Springs cameras, photographs and optical toys sale at Christie’s South Kensington will feature an array of Leica and Nikon cameras from the 1920s to1990s, together with their lenses and accessories, magic lanterns and projection equipment; and a selection of nineteenth century cameras. Estimates start from £150 upwards and the sale provides a great opportunity for enthusiasts to pick up examples of great cameras from bygone eras as well as usable equipment.

Of particular interest is a Polyangular Kaleidoscope (estimate: £7,000 - £10,000) by Sir David Brewster (1781 - 1868), who was one of the most important scientists of the nineteenth century. He patented the kaleidoscope in 1817 and it was an immediate sensation with an estimated 200,000 being sold in London and Paris within the first three months. Seeing as most of these were poorly made copies and Brewster failed to control their manufacture, the kaleidoscope being offered is of particular significance, as it is one that was made directly under license from Brewster himself. Fewer than sixty examples were made.

Other highlights include an early French Scenograph, from c1880 (estimate: £1,000 -£1,500) which was designed to be lightweight and portable; a Dubroni camera c1860 which is often described as the first 'instant camera', as processing was done inside the body of the camera (estimate: £1,000 - £1,500), a Leica camera commemorating 125 years since the death of Leica creator Oskar Barnack (1879 - 2004) (estimate: £1,000-£1,500), and an 'albino' Brownie camera, made by Kodak Ltd in circa1959 (estimate: £300-500). It wasn’t a sucessful product, and only 5000 were made, all sold in the Channel Islands!

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