Several years ago at an auction in Devon, England, I bought a suitcase full of vintage photographic equipment. The purchase was impulsive; I had not had the opportunity to view the contents of the case when the gavel fell, and I secured the lot from an otherwise disinterested room.
The equipment, jumbled together among shriveled pill bugs, dated from the 1950s. It included a Russian Zorki complete with a telescopic brass tripod, an 8-mm home-movie camera with ruined film in the spools, a flash housing with blown bulbs, and furred Eveready batteries fossilized in their housing.
The suitcase’s soiled cotton lining had elasticized side pockets. In one there was a carefully folded document. The auctioneer had made no mention of this, so it was with some surprise, reading it through, that I realized I had acquired an eyewitness account of the 1914 Battle of the Falklands.