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Golden Age movie cameras grace the Gentleman Collector sale at Heritage


From vintage movie cameras to antique microscopes, nautical treasures or decorative ‘mantiques’, an upcoming sale at Heritage Auctions has something for every discerning gentleman collector.

"This sale covers a wide spectrum," said Heritage Vice President of Special Collections Nick Dawes. "We started the Gentleman Collector Estates Auction five years ago with the collection of Malcolm Forbes, and I think this is the best auction we have had so far."

Leading the sale is a pair of vintage movie cameras dating from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

First is a rare Mitchell 35mm Standard A Motion Picture Film Camera, originally designed in 1919 during the birth of cinema. Having originally been owned by RKO Radio Pictures, the camera was later used by a Walt Disney Cinematographer in Hollywood for shooting film throughout the 1940s, and comes with an estimated value of $70,000-$90,000.

Next is an equally rare Bach-Auricon 16-mm Motion Picture Newsreel Camera Package. Dated circa 1953, the camera was used extensively during the most popular period of movie newsreel cinematography.

Offered in remarkably untouched condition, including its original paintwork, wood finishes, a factory-correct tripod and an original factory 1,200-foot film magazine, the camera is expected to sell for $25,000-$35,000.

Further treasures from the golden age of production include a 1939 Mole Richardson Model 410 2000 Watt Fresnel Studio Light, used by Paramount Studios for half a century, estimated at $12,000-$18,000; and an Arriflex 16ST Motion Picture Camera with Tripod, circa 1952, priced at $6,000-$9,000.

For collectors with an enquiring mind, the auction features several items of 19th century scientific equipment, including a rare Smith and Beck Binocular Microscope, circa 1858, offered inside its original case and estimated at $7,000-$10,000; a cased W. Watson & Sons Compound Monocular Microscope, circa 1891, valued at $5,000-$8,000; and a cased Andrew Ross Binocular Compound Microscope, circa 1844-1876, estimated at $4,000-$6,000.

Other highlights from the eclectic sale include a rare American Gilman Joslin Terrestrial library globe, made circa 1869 and estimated at $15,000-$20,000;  a pair of late 18th century Cantonese Export Silver Gilt Filigree Rosewater Sprinklers and Underplates estimated at $12,000-$18,000; and a rare Spanish Mechanical Rowboat toy in its original box, made circa 1930 and priced at $7,000-9,000.

There’s also one of the finest private collections of vintage British biscuit tins to come to auction; a collection of nautical antiques relating to Admiral Horatio Nelson; and a collection of more than 50 antique meerschaum pipes.

The Heritage Auctions’ Gentleman Collector Auction takes place in Dallas, Texas, on January 19.


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