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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cartier's Hands

In front of a small but very nice art museum in Martigny, Switzerland, is a celebrity sidewalk containing bronzed handprints of Francophone artists. And I found the above. The hands are very small, and I cannot duplicate the curve of the thumbs with my own thumbs. The imprints were made in 2002. Do they show that more than 60 years spent twiddling Leica knobs, starting with the model III, can have serious consequences?

Posted by: SCOTT KIRKPATRICK

12 Comments:

Anonymous Bill Mitchell said...

The hands may be small, but the fingers seem unusually long in comparison. The one time that I saw him in action, his M3 completely disappeared in them.

8:23 PM  
Blogger hywel said...

My thumbs do that. And my hands are small. I was obvioulsy born to shoot with a Leica!

Now if I could only work out how to take pictures like HCB...

Hywel

9:18 PM  
Anonymous David Kelly said...

I have read that HCB's hands were big enough to completely hide his Leica. maybe they were narrow but long.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These hands show obvious signs of Depuytren's contracture which is a medical disease that affects the fascial layer of the palm and slowly pulls in the fingers. This is why the pads of the fingers look so big and the shafts of the fingers look so slender. It is because the fingers are fixed in a bent position by the disease. This is also why the palm look so odd with its contracted tissues. It is very commom in white northern Europeans and can have a varying amount of criplling, sometimes needing surgery, but often bearable by the patient when just rearranging his/her way of using the hands. From a medical standpoint this was a very interesting picture to see!

Scott

12:08 AM  
Blogger Geoff said...

Didn't he start with a IIIf?

12:43 AM  
Blogger Scott Kirkpatrick said...

to Geoff -- I think so. I called it a model 3, but iii would be more accurate, and our Editor added the M

2:01 AM  
Blogger david vatovec said...

For me he`s still snapping, wherever he might be,..

6:06 AM  
Blogger Max said...

Aside from the possible diseases, being able to curve your thumbs like that is a genetic trait, like eye color or anything else. I can do a 90° backward angle with mi thumbs and it feels absolutely natural. All men in my family can, also my father's family is french, it probably comes from that side.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 111f only arrived in 1950 and HCB acquired his first Leica circa 1932 - so an A or a II presumably

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Bill Mitchell said...

It was a I, but strangly enough, in chrome/nickel finish which wasn't available on that model. Check the archives on photo.net Leica Forum for pictures.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add Oklahoma, please.
Mike Spivey
Tulsa Oklahoma

5:39 PM  
Blogger huzur & urmuz said...

SO, these are those kairotic hands. I frecquently thought how his hands and fingers could have been: long, thin, nervous, devilish, aristocratic, legendary like those of Paganini. Are you sure this is "a perfect replica"?

11:59 AM  

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