Ebay camera 11

Leica-B

A rare early Leica model B is being auctioned on ebay, bids start at $36,500. The camera was made in 1928 and is thus a fossil from the early years of 35mm still photography.

Compare it to the giant Anthony Climax camera from my other ebay post, where the studio stand also dates from 1928. You can see from this contrast the revolution that was happening in photography. The Anthony would require strong men to move it, the Leica fits in the palm of your hand.

It’s an impressive technical gadget, a boffin’s camera. Industrial design had not yet arrived at Leica; later designs where smoother and more ergonomic, sleek accessories for the well off. This one is a naked machine, it’s functioning parts indecently exposed.

No provenance is mentioned on ebay but you can imagine an intrepid photo-journalist using it in the early days of the picture magazines. Certainly the camera has not been sitting on a shelf all its long life, it has plenty of signs of use.  Oddly, in the case of Leica, that only increases its romance and hence its value, a measure of how mythic these cameras have become.

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