A serialized essay around a small camera - a never-ending story?
© Peter Schaefer 2000
Translation by Det Baumann

Part 1 Part 2

The situation should be well known to everybody:

You have found a camera (or something else to let your collectors heart beat faster); you cannot withstand and take the little gem to your home. It was simply a very interesting piece, although there was not a sign of a brand name or any other hint. Too bad! I think I have seen a similar piece somewhere ... but where? You go through your catalogues ... nothing.

I was in the same situation the other day and that's the reason I started to pin down this page. It was the simple idea of telling the little story about the camera that you see pictured at the left. On one hand, this story was simply fun for me; on the other hand to maybe get to some information buried somewhere in your mind.

So let me tell you the story and how it begun with the purchase of this little camera...

Meanwhile the story went on, naturally, let's say, it is at part 7 or 8 now... But I will tell it part after part, maybe one or two per month. I will illustrate the whole thing with pictures to complement the story ... but I won't tell you more at this time! And the end is, as said before, open even to me...

In addition I have collected little anecdotes around collecting and flea markets; you will see them in the left frame.

Have fun reading, and now lets start...

Part 1

© Peter Schaefer 2000

Short Anecdotes all about Collecting and Flea Markets

Sales Talk

"How much is the vase over there?"
"This is a very valuable vase! Actually I didn't intent to sell it anyway. But because it is YOU ... twelve Marks."
"Hmm, I take it for five Marks, then you don't have to present it, pack it, unpack it, present it and pack it again and again..."
"Five Marks - you don't say? Should be eleven Marks minimum."
"Six! ... okay ... six fifty!"
"Seven fifty! But you're going to ruin me."
"Ah, hmm, well okay! - But then I get a plastic bag in addition."
"A plastic bag in addition?"
"Yes, if I am going to ruin you, then I'll do it right!"

© Peter Schaefer 2000

So this is it ... the little camera

I bought it at a flea market in Dortmund. A dealer had it lying on his table, but asked DM 250 for it ... much too much. No brand name on it and nothing. So first of all stay strong and don't buy ... but take a look every Saturday: does he still have it or is it gone?
He still has it! Ask him again, but very careful... "This is veeery old, next week at the market in Dontknowwhere, there I will have a fix customer for it! No - I can't give it under DM 250!"
Again, one or two weeks later ... he still has it ... next try. Ah ha, the fix customer was a shot in the dark.
"Yes, yes, he will show up for sure."
"Well, I would pay 120 for it."
"What? 120? Somebody this morning bid already 150 for it. But he didn't get it. He was a crazy guy..."
"Okay, then you can..."
"Hey, no chance under 150!"
"...........Well, okay then."

At that point I gave in. Probably much too expensive..."I'm pretty sure, it is a very rare piece", I said to my wife.
She..... just looks compassionate .....!
But now, it is in my hands, the little camera, and I examine it from all sides. It is frustrating, nothing ... no name or any other hint. Yes, at the top of the camera, there is an ivory colored plate probably made of Guttapercha (?). But it is completely worn, not the slightest sign to be detectable.

I try newest technology! What else are all those technical gadgets worth? I scan the plate, open the picture with Photoshop and try to draw something out of the gray fog using various filters and tricks. Nothing ....
Then again using the loupe. And suddenly there is something ... if I hold the plate to the light in a specific angle, there is some reflection at the places, where had been printed text in former times. Now, if I shut one eye, with much concentration and long time trying and some luck I can make out a few characters. I can read ....

End of Part 1
To be continued...

Part 2

Any questions? Auction@enter-net.de