A camera shaped like a pistol, designed for use by Japanese police, has sold for thousands of pounds at auction.

The rare ‘police-issue’ Doryu 2-16 is believed to have been developed for surveillance work, and for officers to photograph protesters during demonstrations.

Dating from around 1955, the Doryu 2-16 pistol camera used bullet-shaped

flash cartridges and captured 10x10mm images on 16mm film.

Experts at Special Auction Services in Berkshire stress that the Doryu 2-16 camera is ‘not a novelty’, but was built for a purpose.

The subminiature camera went under the hammer for £9,000 last month, despite a missing film cartridge.