Saturday morning saw my teas maid alarm clock emitting it's rude call for awaking at six of the am. It's not that I love to awaken and hear the dawn chorus on purpose but I had a mission, the acquisition of a glass plate camera. The event; an auction of 'fishing and camera equipment'. The venue; Taylors Auction Rooms in Montrose.
The day for viewing had been on the Friday but I was unable to attend as I was in Aberdeen at University. A small window of opportunity to view was still available to me though on the Saturday morning from 8am till the sale at 10am.
So there I was just before 8am ready to view the lots. On arrival I registered for my bidding number then made my way straight to Saleroom 3 to immerse myself in all things analogue. Disappointed I was not and I was surprised by how many glass plate cameras where in the sale. Although sleep deprived the decision to arrive early had been wise as it gave me the opportunity to inspect each of the cameras, making sure that bellows where intact, mechanisms in order and the lenses had no mould.
The decision was easy as I fell in love with Lot 4084 - a single plate mahogany camera with Thornton Pickard timer, Beck symmetrical lens, 4 plate holders and canvas bag. I identified another camera in case I was unlucky with my bidding and then I waited nervously and patiently in the front row for the auction to begin.
Ten minutes before the bidding began I was joined by my friend Caroline who had been equally excited for me about the auction. Her role, to offer moral support and make sure I kept my cool.
Then 10 am and we were immersed in the theatre that is The Auction! As each of the large format cameras came up I noted the price that they went for and was surprised that each one was sold. I had no idea that so many people would be interested. Then my lot came up but I stayed cool like The Fonz and won the camera that I had set my heart on.
It is fair to say that I left the Taylors Auction Rooms almost floating. Another of the bidders asked me if it was going straight into my cabinet at home and I was so happy to say 'not so, this camera would be loved and used.'
Starving and high, Caroline and I set off for lunch and a glass of Merlot to toast bidding success.