leica-n.s.d.a.p engraving

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by eugenewalter, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. researching leica lens serial# 250544(1935) f2,8 1:63 x50 hektor. asking around (jlager,vienna,forums,tamarkin etc.) no body has seen this engraving on any leicas,i saw one on another forum but it looked scratched on.i've been looking for those distribution/delivery lists but no go.was this a party member or organization that had it engraved? DSCN7740.JPG DSCN7745.JPG DSCN7746.JPG DSCN7747.JPG
  2. I am too young to know. A QCD online search for "NSDAP Hauptarchiv" proofs: There was one in Munich from 1934 to 1944 or 45. Content got moved into the current federal Bundesarchiv.
  3. I expect you've already seen descriptions of the archive like this:

    NSDAP Main Archives; Julius Streicher collection; Heinrich Himmler collection (microfilm) - Archives Hub

    If it's genuine and Leica themselves have no relevant record, then the engraving might well have been done locally - I suppose even Nazi archives liked to mark their property. I wonder that 'X50' refers to? Perhaps this was used in some sort of copying application? Pre-photocopier archives must have done a lot of photographic reproduction work. It seems a bit wide to be used as an enlarger lens.
  4. This is a heck of a find. I have never seen something like this before.
  5. Tht's not always a GOOD thing;)

    There are some very good engravers in the former Soviet Union.

    Of course, occasionally someone does draw an inside straight. Are you feeling lucky?
  6. Whenever you see that someone stripped off the chrome from the brass, it's like a big neon sign pulsing "Russian fake." Although Leica did do a "special" which was stripped to the brass with a coating on top I think. Strange looking camera.
  7. Someone posted about an unplated brass Leica (not a gold-plated Luxus) here a while back - apparently the factory records confirmed it had been shipped that way. Someone else had an apparently genuine Leica that had been stripped to the brass by a third party at some point in its life. But these are very much the exceptions - nearly all the brass cameras are obviously refinished FEDs or Zorkis.

    What looks like a real Leica lens with an unusual inscription is a different matter. If the engraving is genuine, then it was presumably done by or on behalf of the archive itself to indicate ownership, rather than by an individual. This would make it historically interesting, though the sort of thing I'd rather see in a museum that puts Nazi-owned objects in their terrible context rather than on one of my cameras. If the engraving is forged, it's a pretty sophisticated bit of fakery to use something as obscure as this. A Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine or Heer engraving would have broader appeal.
  8. has anybody figured out what is the x50 refer to,also about 1935 is when hitler took over the archives.i,m guessing it might be a company (N.S.D.A.P) camera.still looking for inventories,archives,delivery lists,distribution.
  9. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    NSDAP was the Nazi Party.
  10. thank you sandy,i was wondering what dept.or section, someone had to record ownership of the camera or at least inventory it.
  11. Surely the'department' was the Archive itself? If neither Jim Lager have any records, you are probably out of luck. But perhaps the archive's activities extended to keeping records of its own purchases? If so, then they might just conceivably have survived. According to the link above, the original Hauptarchiv documents are in the Bundesarchiv in Germany, and there are microfilm copies at the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide in London and at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, USA.

    Perhaps 'X50' is a magnification factor of some description, used in some copying/enlarging application?

    Do you have a link to the engraving on the other forum?
  12. the holocaust museum referred me to leicapark.i e-mailed them (mr. kosakowski) a few times,they said they all still working on it.i've been searching archives all over.jlager said he's never seen the engraving before maybe done by a jewler. if the lens was used by nsdap there must be others.
  13. I meant to write 'If neither Leica nor Jim Lager have any records, you are probably out of luck', so if Leica are still working on it they might dig something up. On the other hand, the engraving might have been purely a local decision - maybe the Archive just bought a lens from a camera shop in Munich and had it engraved, as Lager suggests, by a local jeweller, presumably as a security measure. There might be no others to find in 2018, especially as there would have been a very strong motive to erase any explicitly Nazi engravings in the aftermath of the war (stronger than with the German military Leicas, where the engravings are also commonly defaced).
  14. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

  15. thank you gentleman for your help,this started out as a wonder how old this lens is,then as i researched i got hooked,very interesting but tiring on this man's old eyes,anyway auction tomorrow at tamarkin's.well see what happens.
  16. For people who are into collecting Nazi memorabilia, there's nothing obscure about an NSDAP marking -- it's very likely that it is just some slightly more clever forger trying to keep sales up. Of course, there ARE some genuine Wehrmacht, NSDAP, and perhaps even Hermann Göring inscriptions, but these are really very rare.

    Of course, I got my GOLD & rosewood Leica precisely because it was so outrageous. It has the 3-crown Swedish Army markings on it, which is much rarer than Nazi markings :p
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  17. By 'obscure' I mean the Hauptarchiv in Munich rather than the NSDAP in general. That's a rather obscure cog in the Nazi machine, not an obvious target for forgers. This one is also a genuine (and not the commonest) Leitz lens, so it has significant value even without additional engravings. That means a bigger outlay for any potential forger (unlike your outrageous 'Swedish Leica', where the value of the work that went into converting it is probably greater than the cost of the original Soviet camera!). In any case, Tamarkin are estimating the lens at $2500-$3500, even without provenance, and are saying 'this lens was made in 1935, in the very first year of production, and was most likely conscribed at that time for the party’s use', which implies they think it's the real deal.
  18. I understand the collectability urge very well, but I'd be afraid to take any camera with "Nazi" engravings out in public!
  19. The collectors of this stuff probably make special arrangements:

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