Ducati Microcamera - 80,000 lire in 1946 for the base camera without accessories, was roughly equal to the price of SIX MONTHS of an Italian surgeon's salary at the time...
Societa Scientifica Radio Breveti Ducati was founded in 1926 in Bologna, Italy. One of the items they eventually produced in the mid 1940's was this highly prized camera. This is a half frame 35mm microcamera, similar in look and feel to the full frame Leica that it is often compared to but without a doubt, this was by far the finer camera in it's day. One review said it was the difference between a VW Jetta and a Ferrari, and for this reason are very desirable to collectors of fine cameras, not just Ducatista.
Ducati microcameras were built in three models, the top of the line Sogno (this is a Sogno which translates to "dream" in Italian), the Sport with different shutter speeds and the more basic Simplex. The Difference was that the Simplex was void of some of the features, most importantly, the interchangable lenses.
A few hundred cameras were built along with several lenses and accessories, and they commanded rather high prices at the time. It is said that the cost of this camera, 80,000 lire in 1946 for the base camera without accessories, was roughly equal to the price of SIX MONTHS of an Italian surgeon's salary at the time. The inscription on this one, "Non Cedible" and "Per Collaboratore Ducati" makes this one even rarer. It translates to "not for sale" "For collaberation with Ducati" meaning it was a gift to a high ranking person, a racer or a dignitary. (Vicki Smith photo, from the personal collection of Rich Lambrechts and Vicki Smith