Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ica Icarette, Marksman 120, and Lost Portrait.

I saw this camera at Crossroads Consignment in Champaign IL a couple weeks ago. The price tag said "Rare Ica Icarette $110".  I am used to seeing claims of rarity made by dealers for common items, however in this case the claim may be valid. The Icarrette was made by Ica starting in 1920.  In 1926 there was a big merger of German camera makers after which Zeiss Ikon made several models of Icarettes. In my admittedly non-exhaustive search for info on the Icarrette I was not able to find anything on the pre-1926 Icarrette. So it is likely that if this is a pre-1926 Ica made Icarrette, then it may actually be somewhat rare.

From what I can find it appears that Icarrettes were good cameras. Later models were made that used several different roll film sizes.  The early ones also had the ability to use plates. Most had a Tessor lens and a Compur leaf shutter with, a good for the time, top speed of 1/250.  Anyway the Ica Icarette seems like a much more interesting camera than I would have thought at first.  I will definitely give it another look if it is still there the next time I go to Crossroads.

The Marksman 120 is a typical box camera from the late 1940's.  The most interesting thing to me is that it was made by Zenith Camera Corp. in Chicago.  Postwar Chicago seems to have been a preferred site for making cheap cameras. Zenith, Metropolitan Industries, and Spartus are three Chicago based makers of cheap cameras that come to mind. I think the Marksman 120 was priced at $25. 

I believe this is a Crayon Enlargement.  Crayon Enlargements were popular up until WWI.  What they did was make a photo enlargement which was used as a guide for the finished portrait. Here the portrait is a colorized photo of a soldier from WWI.  From the number of these portraits that I have seen over the years, they must have been very popular with WWI soldiers. I didn't catch the price on this item, however I would guess that it is a hard item to sell, since demand probably isn't high and supply is.