The much-trailed auction at Christies of a Bell & Howell 2709 camera used by Charlie Chaplin resulted in no sale. The price had been put at £70,000-£90,000. The camera was one of four 2709 models used at the Chaplin studios. It was purchased in 1918 and used by Chaplin throughout the 1920s.
Despite the no sale, The Bioscope had one of its reporters on the spot, who returned with some fine pictures. Here’s a close view of the camera mechanism:
And here’s a marvellous Chaplin’s-point-of-view shot of the eyepiece:
As already reported, the camera sale of which the Chaplin camera was a part is rumoured to have been Christie’s last, the collector’s market not being what it once was. Which is sad, if it means that their glamour is fading. Not that I can usually tell one box from another – I can just about manage to spot a Bell & Howell, given the ‘Mickey Mouse ears’ look of the twin magazines, but thereafter I tend to get a bit stumped. So, don’t ask me which is which among this selection of boxes, which is one for the cognoscenti:
And, finally, something I can recognise, even without its box, though only because the name is somewhat prominently displayed – an Urban Bioscope, such as graces the header of this blog:
With many thanks to Christian Hayes for the photographs.