Camera Geekery: Chiswick Photographica Auction

The next Chiswick Photographica Auction is coming this week and if you have’t seen it then you are in for a treat. Chiswick Auctions have been running auctions with a focus not just on cameras, but photographic prints and collectibles as well. So I decided to have a look through the catalog and choose a few of the items I covet.

A Leitz Elmarit-M 2.8/ 21mm ELCAN Prototype

Look at this, an insanely rare Midland Leica prototype:

A Leitz Elmarit-M 2.8/ 21mm ELCAN Prototype

Serial No: 1234567

Barrel: E

Optics: E

Notes: Prototype of the E49 Elmarit-M 2.8/21mm, one of just 4 prototype lenses produced by Ernst Leitz Midland Canada. With prototype serial number 1234567, the point under 1 indicating that this is the first of the 4 lenses produced. In near mint condition, with both caps and prototype glossy lens hood 12537, differing from the standard matt finish. Previously, the only other example from this prototype series, to come to market was at Westlicht Camera Auction 31 in June 2017, the second of the 4 prototype lens produced, (lot 119 – 48,000 Euro)

Provenance: Leitz Midland Museum

Alpa Rotacamera 6070 Medium Format 360 Panoramic Camera

Now this is pretty fantastic. A medium format 360 panoramic camera, how cool is that?

Alpa Rotacamera 6070 Medium Format 360 Panoramic Camera

Serial No: 0254

Body: VG

Lens: Rodenstock Grandagon 75mm f/6.8 MC (10314852)/ Rodenstock Grandagon 75mm f/6.8 MC (10314264)

Optics: VG

Notes: fully operational, complete with Linhof 70mm film holders (3), adjustment tools, remote control, battery, battery charger pack, and remote control/cables

An Extremely Rare Williamson G-28 Hand-Held Observer’s Gun Camera.

Oh no officer, it’s a camera…

An Extremely Rare Williamson G-28 Hand-Held Observer’s Gun Camera.

#1616. Circa late 1930’s (mentioned in Williamson 1937 advertisement, but not pictured). Designed to look and operate similar to a Lewis Mk2 machine gun, this camera was loaded with film into a top, removable cassette and used in training to access the progress of a rear gunner. ‘Cocking’ the camera advances the film and on ‘firing’ it records the accuracy, or not, of the user on film.
Features recesses for a battery and a bulb. Clockwork can be heard running after firing, but unable to check if fully operational. The film holder is loose and should lock in position via the two round knobs to the rear but even when fully home it can still be removed. The lens appears original but unable to check for completeness or operation. Shows wear commensurate with age, the metal parts are covered in a brown patina probably caused by being coated in grease or oil for protection. Maximum dimensions approx 56 x 27 x 15cms Weight 5kgs.

But it ins’t just cool cameras, they also have an amazing selection of prints too.

Lewis Morris Rutherfurd (1816-1892)

Lewis Morris Rutherford (1816-1892)

THREE PHASES OF THE MOON, NEW YORK, c.1865, Vintage Albumen prints (3), printed in 1870, by Alfred Brothers of Manchester, image sizes 340 x 260mm (2), 320 x 260mm (1), each image blind stamped lower left, archivally mounted and framed.

Using his instrumentation, Rutherford produced an extremely high quality collection of photographs of the Sun, Moon, and planets, as well as star clusters and stars down to the fifth magnitude. In 1862, he began making spectroscopic studies using his new diffraction grating. He noticed distinct categories of spectral classes of stars, which Angelo Secchi expanded upon in 1867 to list a set of four stellar classes.

This is simply wonderful. The early days of photographic and scientific discovery rolled into one. I want this.

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908 – 2004)

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908 – 2004)

WASHINGTON, D.C. 1957. Silver gelatin print, image size, 237mm x 175mm, pen annotations and Magnum Photos copyright stamp verso.

A genuine Cartier-Bresson for a very reasonable price. This one has me scheming on how to hide it from my wife.

And then there is this….which I desperately want…

A Rare 1950s Free-Standing Kodak Film Vending Machine

A Rare 1950s Free-Standing Kodak Film Vending Machine. Manufactured by Brecknell, Dolman & Rogers, this Kodak film vending machine is a remarkable survivor and is in very good, fully working condition with just a few areas of minor paint loss. It was used by Forest Photos, Ringwood, Dorset from the late 1950s until the early 1960s.
It is fitted out to dispense Kodak 620, 120 and 127 black & white roll film for which it takes a maximum of 4/- (2 x 2 shilling pieces). Thanks to a very clever (still operational) mechanism in each of the 3 round dispensers at the top of each column, it can be pre-loaded with a different amount of change for each film size, so various prices could be charged.
It was wheeled outside every night and bolted to the wall for safety (the brackets are included) so people could buy film out of hours There is a flap at the top where exposed films could be dropped off for processing. It is thought that the shop had an awning or a small alcove which as protected the machine from the weather over the years. After the machine was ‘retired’ in the 1960s it ended up in the owner’s garage. The two original keys are still present.
Forest Photos closed in 1981.
Free-standing at approx. 167cm x 44cm x 23cm, it is very heavy.

There are loads more amazing items on their site. The photographica auction will be held on the 28th of October.

Make sure you go and register for bidding and you could find yourself with a lovely piece of photographic history.