Extremely Rare Rollei 35mm “Urushi” Collector’s Camera
|January 16, 2013||Posted by Photo GearHead under Cool Gear|
Do you want to talk about rare cameras? Huh? Well? Do ya? Check this sucker out, Pal! This is, apparently, (at least what would become) a “Rollei 35 Classic” finished with Urushi high-gloss lacquer. The Urushi Rollei 35 Classics were released in 1998 and sold then at a retail price of $5,000.00 USD. This particular Rollei model, with Urushi lacquer, and 18k gold plated hardware, would eventually be released under the model name “Rollei 35 Classic.” What makes this particular Rollei 35 so special, however, is that all of the Rollei 35 Classic cameras released to the public were available only in either blue, or gray.
Taking even just a quick glance at the image provided should tell you that this camera is most certainly neither blue, nor gray. The seller of this camera informs us that this particular photographic wonder was a prototype model built by Rollei. Before going into to full production with the Rollei 35 Classic, Rollei decided to limit the available finishes to either blue or grey — so, the red version never actually went into production. Consequently very few pre-production prototype, non-blue or gray Rollei 35s with Urushi lacquer are known to exist.
This particular camera displays the serial number “0000″, and comes with a certificate of authenticity from Rollei confirming the genuine prototype status of the camera. This Rollei 35 also sports “snake-skin leather.” Whether or not its real snake-skin I haven’t yet been able to tell. The seller refers to it as “snake-skin leather”, and Rollei did make cameras with “snake skin” that was actually just made from regular cow-hide. But, the covering on this camera — if it is in fact cowhide — has been made to look like authentic snake-skin. And, on a prototype for a $5,000.00 Rollei, who knows? It may, in fact, be authentic snake skin.
So, what will this fine little picture-snapper set you back? Oh, only ten-grand! Yes folks, this little marvel is available right now for the low, low price of just $9,999.00 — plus $75.00 shipping in order to get it from Noordwijk, Netherlands (near the kyrgyn fjords, I think) to wherever you might be in the world. And, if that happens to be anywhere in Europe, you can tack on another $1,600.00 in sales tax. So, needless to say, acquiring this camera for your rare cameras collection wont be cheap. Nonetheless, the sale is located here.
And, if you do find this remarkable Rollei (Woah! Dig the use of alliteration there!) to be just a tad out of your price range, but you still have your heart set on owning a Rollei 35, here’s a working Rollei 35B with a current bid of less than twenty-bucks! That one’s up for auction, though — so who knows what it might end up going for. Collectiblend’s antique and classic camera price guide puts the 35B’s current market value at between $120.00 to $300.00 depending on condition.