Pullman Gallery

Giant Leica III camera model, 1933

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Reference: 6200

An extremely rare pre-war wooden dummy model of a Leica rangefinder camera, of gargantuan proportions, produced as a display piece to promote the release of the Leica III in 1933. The dummy, realistically modelled with an Elmar 50 mm f/3.5 lens, measures a massive 21 inches (53 cm) long and is accompanied by an actual Leica III black, serial number 125842 of the same era, with its rare Leica branded display ‘hand’ and publicity card for the company, entitled Ballerina, taken by photographer Istvan Sved.

Size: 21 x 11 x 11 inches (53 x 28 x 28 cm).

Early camera retailers would have been familiar with the concept of using dummy camera models in their retail establishments – much as with high-end electronic goods on display in stores today – these display versions would have been made to scale, using actual camera casings but with no internal mechanisms.

These dummies would have demonstrated the new designs well to prospective buyers, but as these were expensive items to purchase, the dummies would have meant that retailers would not have had to take their displays down each night for security.

However, the model illustrated here, being one in an available collection of seven pieces, known as Riesen-Models (great models) are the exception, and made to massive scale to faithfully resemble the actual models but would have been used for trade fairs and exhibitions, or for press and publicity for the release of a new design.

Made with an almost obsessional attention to detail, these replica cameras are made in wood with textured Rexine coverings, hand-painted dials, branding, trim and even transparent ‘lenses’, and have all the features of the originals, and in some instances employ actual camera film roll casings and lids, to create the dials and details.

Available as a collection or individually, contact us for additional details.

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