In our increasingly technological world, the remarkable can quickly appear mundane. From the ipod to the xbox to the Blackberry, it is easy to forget the impact of one of the first technological devices to enter the mainstream. The humble camera was among the first devices to become available to a consumer audience and its influence has been far reaching.
Although the multifarious features of the ubiquitous mobile telephone often include a camera – and, quite frankly, the kitchen sink if you look hard enough – it is a particular pleasure to look at and handle a real camera in its original form. There are numerous fine examples to be picked up at auction, often modest and simple in their application. There are, of course, specialist sales for the camera connoisseur but the pleasure for the layman is always in the working tool and, by golly, there are plenty of them sprinkled around the provincial rooms.
Who could possibly resist the fabulously sophisticated Ilford Sportsman camera in its leather case? Well, it’s on offer at Reeman Dansie in Colchester with a bundle of assorted others with an insanely cheap estimate of £15 – 25. Or if you really want to push the boat out, why not get in touch with Taylors in Montrose who have an eclectic collection of photographic props in their sale of 17th December? Among the assorted lots, you will find representatives from the Zeiss Ikon stable with Ikoflex Twin Lens and Nettar cameras. By geographical contrast, deep in the West Country at Chilcotts in Tiverton, a Rolliflex, two Voigtlanders and an Ensign Simplex Auto will be coming under the hammer.
However, for those who need to keep their options open until the last minute, you could a lot worse than the Clarke Gammon Wellers sale on 13th December. One entry in the catalogue embraces a Kodak No 1 Folding Pocket Camera, cased, three other cameras, opera glasses, binoculars and a Victorian brass telescope for a combined estimate of £30 – 50. That seems cracking value to me, offering endless scope for post Xmas entertainment, particularly the Kodak camera which allows the user the opportunity to snap slumbering guests consigned after lunch to watching Dr Zhivago for the 34th year running.
Chairman, Invaluable group of companies
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