By Mark McConville
A BRITISH auction house has just sold a number of Soviet spy cameras including one disguised as a JPS cigarette packet for £29k.
Incredible images show the realistic cigarette packet camera as well as other subtle designs including an umbrella spy camera, a handbag with a built-in cine camera for female spies and a KGB-designed button disguise.
Other items included a spy camera disguised to look like a regular Zenit E 35mm SLR which went for £3,300, a man’s jacket fitted with a 1970s spy camera and a ladies clutch bag with spy camera fittings.
Aston’s Auctioneers, based near Birmingham in the UK, have recently shifted 25 of these rare USSR-era cameras.
The Zenit lookalike comes complete with a leather case that even has the brand’s name etched on it and sold for more than 20 times its original estimated value of £150.
One of the most intriguing design features is that the real lens actually points out the side of the model, allowing the user to take pictures discreetly at a 90 degree angle, using a button on the bottom of the product so as not to arouse suspicion.
All of the items listed were manufactured between 1942 and 1990, and are all still in working order.