Leica MP leads Robert White rare camera collection at Bonhams

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

2016-07-19 12:53:25

Rare vintage cameras from the renowned collection of Robert White will cross the block at Bonhams later this year, led by a rare Leica MP.

Almost 100 cameras will be offered from White's vast personal collection, which also includes rare motorcycles, classic cars, watches and other mechanical marvels.

White, who passed away in 2015, was the founder of one of the U.K's largest photographic retailers, having originally started with a small camera shop in his hometown of Poole.

Amongst the most notable cameras on offer is a Leicavit MP no. 294, originally introduced by Leitz in 1956 as a Leica M for professionals.

Prototypes were supplied for testing purposes to some of the world's most famous photo journalists, such as David Douglas Duncan and Alfred Eisenstaedt, and this 1957 example – one of only 320 ever made – is expected to sell for £15,000 - £20,000 ($19,690 - $26,250).

Further highlights will include a black Leica M2 with matching lens, valued at £5,000 - £6,000 ($6,560 - $7,875); a black M3 no.993634, estimated at £1,800 - £2,200 ($2,360 - $2,888); and a variety of modern Leica M anniversary cameras with matching lenses.

"As one would expect from a man who made cameras and photography his life’s work, the pieces collected by Robert White are rare, of immense quality, and are of historical significance," said Jon Baddeley, Bonhams Global Director of Collectors’ Sales.

"From the Leicavit MP, no. 294 – which is in completely original condition to how it was made some 50 years ago – to a Leica III that comes complete with a very large wooden dummy model for shop displays in the early 1930s. Robert certainly had an eye for quality."

All proceeds from White's collection will benefit cancer diagnosis and treatment in Dorset.

"The impact that Mr. White’s incredible generosity will have for patients facing cancer in Dorset cannot be overstated," said White's consultant oncologist, Dr. Mike Bayne. "[He] will forever be associated with advances in cancer care in the county, and on behalf of our patients I would like to express our heartfelt thanks."

The Robert White Collection will be sold at Bonhams in London on September 19.

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