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1923 Leica camera fetches 2.16 million euros at auction

13th May 2012 | 2.256 Views
Vienna, March (ANTARA News) - A Leica camera prototype made in 1923 fetched 2.16 million euros ($2.79 million) at auction on Saturday, setting a new world record for a camera.

The camera, an exemplar of the pre-production Leica 0-Series, had been expected to go for between 600,000 and 800,000 euros and bidding started at 300,000 euros at the Galerie Westlicht in Vienna.

AFP reported that the hammer fell at 1.8 million euros, and the final price with tax was 2.16 million euros. The buyer chose to remain anonymous.

Only 25 pre-production O-Series were made to test the market for 35mm cameras before full production began in 1925, and just 12 are known still to exist.

The prices such cameras fetch are a barometer of the growing interest for early photographic materials.

The previous record set last year, also for an O-Series, was 1.32 million euros, more than 800,000 euros below the new record, while in 2007 the first such camera to be auctioned fetched just 336,000 euros.

In a sign that old photographs are also much in demand, a 1855 daguerreotype by French photographer Jean-Baptiste Louis Gros showing a Paris fountain sold for 228,000 euros, while a 1954 photograph from the Studio Visages/Raymond Fabre showing Spanish painter Pablo Picasso went for 24,000 euros.

Three landscape photographs by US photographer Ansel Adams were sold at prices ranging from 21,600 to 33,600 euros.(C003)