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!