Most photographers love old cameras and equipment, but on the UK's Antiques Roadshow, a rare camera find ended up obliterating the show's profit record.
The Antiques Roadshow is a staple of daytime television in the UK and has been for many years. On occasion, a camera will crop up and it might even make a little profit at auction. However, a £60 ($85) purchase is Kent was investigated after very little information could be found on exactly what the camera was and its origins. There had been no previous auctions of a piece like this and photography historians and experts had to be called in to confirm the identity of this rare artefact. What an excerpt from the episode below:
The find was confirmed to be an extremely rare Auguste Berstrsch Chambre Automatique which is, in essence, the blending of a camera with a microscope, made at some point in the 1800s, estimated to be around 1865. Bertsch was a pioneer of an early type of macro photography, although it really bordered on microphotography. He was known for taking pictures of mites and insects too small for the eye to see detail of. You can see some of his astonishing work here.
The camera is in remarkable condition and much to the show's surprise, the auction was fiercely fought over and ended up selling for £20,000 ($28,400). It is thought to be one of the only remaining examples of Bertsch's sub-miniature cameras and for that reason, it is a real collector's item.