The €1.320.000 ($1.900.000) 0-series Leica
An absolute price record was set at the 19th WestLicht camera auction on the 28th of May by lot number 1 that had an estimated price of between 350.000 to 450.000 Euro. After a tough bidder battle starting at 200.000 Euro, lasting for 20 minutes, the highlight of the auction, the extremely rare Leica of the 0-series from 1923, sold for a staggering 1.320.000 Euro (USD 1.900.000) including premium. The bidder, a private collector from Asia, is with this buy the new owner of the most expensive camera ever sold worldwide.
The camera is number 7 in a series of around 25 pieces built to test the market by Leitz in 1923. The camera has been manufactured two years before the official market launch of the Leica (Leitz Camera). It is the only known camera with the "Germany" gravure on the top plate. According to factory documents the camera was sent to New York to be patented, hence it is also the first exported Leica.
The camera is now officially topping the last world record set by a Daguerreotype from 1839, up for auction at WestLicht in December of 2010 that had sold for 732.000 Euro (USD 1.054.000).
The WestLicht auction of May 28th, 2011
Source/words/images: WestLicht Vienna.