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Giant "Baby" Rolleiflex 4x4 Dummy update

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    Posted 7 months ago

    mcheconi
    (34 items)

    The giant 4x4 Rolleiflex promotional dummy camera restoration is 95% completed. I'm still working on some missing screws and small parts that must be CNC'ed or machined. All materials and paint used are reversible and I'm very happy with the results so far.
    This is one out of ten giant replicas made by Franke & Heidecke for the 1932 Leipzig Spring Messe to promote their new 4x4 Rolleiflex model.

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    Comments

    1. mcheconi mcheconi, 7 months ago
      Thanks vetraio50, rniederman and yougottahavestuff!
    2. mcheconi mcheconi, 7 months ago
      Many thanks to
      sugargirl
      officialfuel
      Brunswick
      fortapache
      Broochman
    3. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 6 months ago
      You did such a fine job on this restoration, these giant cameras I have only seen one in my life, so I know their beauty and rarity. I remember my first Rollei with a 2.8 lens and some parts plated in gold. I never got over handling such a rarity and treasure the pics I took with it. I sort of remember one of the men you contacted sitting or standing with this iconic masterpiece, many collectors would envy your camera find as much as I do !~
    4. mcheconi mcheconi, 6 months ago
      Hello Phil, thank you for your kind comment! Hope you are healthy and strong. Yes, it turned out really good. It isn't a highly sophisticated piece, you know. They were made kind of roughly, although they are perfect copies of the real camera. But the surfaces aren't smooth at all, there are mold marks on the camera body, the engravings aren't perfectly aligned...I guess Franke und Heidecke didn't expect these to last for almost 100 years! They were probably made to be used in their booth at 1932's Leipzig Spring Fair and then discarded. I suspect they later decided to send them to major retailers all over the world to be used as promotional pieces. And this must have happened right after the Leipzig Fair ended, otherwise they would have been melted to reuse the aluminum during the war. These are real survivors.
    5. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 5 months ago
      This really is a gem in the antique world, however, most people would never get the opportunity to even see one in a window of a photography shop or even a pawn shop. whether it was made for display at a show, I imagine most people would paw all over one if given the opportunity to own one. Something not going out of style !~
    6. mcheconi mcheconi, 5 months ago
      Thank you Phil. I intend to sell it and I am trying to figure out how I would be able to do it. I intend to contact an auction house that could give me the directions.
    7. rolleye rolleye, 13 days ago
      Hi, I have one of these ‘giant’ 4x4 cameras in excellent condition. I bought it from one of the classic camera shops in London about 20 yrs ago. I understand only 10 were made although I have no knowledge of any others other than those mentioned here.
      Ross
    8. mcheconi mcheconi, 12 days ago
      Rolleye/Ross thanks for your comment. I actually tracked the whereabouts of almost all the other ten giant 4x4 Rollei dummies. There's one in Brazil (mine), that used to live in a camera shop in Rio de Janeiro (that was Brazil's capital at the time), one in Buenos Aires, Argentina, one was photographed in Paris in the 1990s, originally at a very important camera shop that is now closed, there are four or five in Germany, one of which came from the U.S., brought by the (I believe) world's most important Rollei collector, Mr. Frank-Peter Hoffmann. He owns two of them and told me he knows other two German collectors that also own one camera each. Some months ago, one of the giant 4x4 was offered on eBay by a German seller, but it was in very poor condition, with many parts missing and badly "restored". That's why I am not sure if there's four or five there. Mr Hoffmann also told me that there is one in a collection in the Netherlands. There was one in Beijing, China, that was photographed by the famous French film maker Chris Mark in mid 1950s. It appears on one of his films called "If I Had Four Dromedaries". And there's now yours, bought in London. It is difficult to tell if the ones photographed in China and in France are still there, but at least we know where they were originally sent to by the Franke & Heidecke company. I would like to know if you would mind sending me pictures of your camera. I intend to make a post with all the pictures I have found during these years of research. Also, I have other posts here at CW about the camera. My email is checoni@hotmail.com.
      Marcelo
    9. rolleye rolleye, 12 days ago
      Hi Marcelo

      Thank you for your very informative email, it’s much appreciated.

      I will indeed send photo’s this evening (UK time) and I hope you find them useful.
      regards
      Ross

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