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A Most Impressive Collection of Early Gadgets and Electrical Objects Discovered, Sold

Few other people have dedicated their time, money and attention to their passion for early gadgets and electrical objects as Michel Siméon did, and his impressive collection is proof of that. A chunk of it has just sold at auction.
Michel Siméon was a passionate collector and restorer of antique gadgets and electrical objects 8 photos
Geissler tube from the Michel Siméon collectionGeissler tube from the Michel Siméon collectionGeissler tube from the Michel Siméon collectionGeissler tube from the Michel Siméon collectionPhoto camera from the Michel Siméon collectionMagic lantern from the Michel Siméon collectionMichel Siméon was a passionate collector and restorer of antique gadgets and electrical objects
If the name Michel Siméon doesn’t ring a bell, it’s ok. If it does sound familiar and you’re just finding out that items from his collection have already sold and you bought none, that’s ok too, because more will be coming up. Siméon is a famous French collector and restorer of antiquities, who got started when he was just 15 and kept at it up to his death at 94, last year.

Based in Lyon, France, Siméon’s collection includes over 3,000 items that, put together, represent a most magical and telling trip down memory lane. It comprises anything from a variety of Geissler tubes, radios, photographic cameras, projectors, magic lanterns, and hundreds other items related to optical experiments, telecommunications, and electricity. In his years-long quest for the most obscure items, Siméon also found and bought early vibrators, musical devices, and electrotherapy apparatus.

Of these 3,000 items, which his heirs uncovered in his home and decided to sell as part of a tribute to their father’s legacy, 218 crossed the auction block with Aguttes, on May 10, in Neuilly-sur-Seine. They were dated between 1850 and 1950, and grouped into categories, according to their former use. All of these have already found new owners, with prices ranging from €70 to €2,000 ($73 to $2,094 at the current exchange rate).

Fellow collectors with a soft spot for this kind of collectibles should not fret, though: auctioneer Claude Aguttes told La Vieille Fabrique last month that he’s been in contact with the Siméon Estate and that all the other items from the collection will be offered for sale. In the meantime, we invite you on that trip down memory lane with the photos in the gallery, including gorgeous Geissler tubes (precursors of neon lightning), vintage photo cameras, and magic lanterns (early prototypes of image projectors). More are available at the link.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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