On the 32nd WestLicht Camera Auction Leica had set the new world’s record as the most expensive camera, beating its own previous record.
The auction took place on March 10, 2018, where Leica camera was sold for 2,400,000 Euro (USD 2,976,000). This 32nd WestLicht Camera Auction brought not one but two record winning results. The first one – is the new world record price of 2.4 million Euro (2 million hammer price plus premium) for the Leica 0-series no.122, placing this camera to the first place as the world’s most expensive camera to date. Furthermore, the auction turned out to be the most successful one in the rich history of the Vienna auction house.
Auction for Leica 0-series had started at a price of 400,000 Euro and rose to a result 6 times higher. The winner of this bidding was a private collector from Asia. The camera itself was claimed as “in fantastic original condition” which was reflected in the initial price bid.
An interesting fact is that the previous record was also withing the “hands” of Leica 0-series with no.116 that was auctioned at WestLicht in 2012 for 2.16 million Euro.
Peter Coeln, WestLicht founder:
“The outstanding result once again emphasizes the international leading position of our auction house”.
Leica majority owner and chairman of the board Andreas Kaufmann:
“This world record price of 2.4 million Euro demonstrates the ongoing and ever-growing myth of the Leica brand.”
A further excellent result was achieved by another Leica camera from the famous collection of Jim Jannard (founder of Oakley): A Leica MP-89 black paint climbed from a starting price of 120,000 to 456,000 Euro. A Leica MP-2, the first camera with electric motor drive, changed ownership for 432,000 Euro. For the comparatively moderate sum of 48,000 Euro a collector purchased the Hasselblad Lunar Surface SWC which was manufactured for the Apollo missions.
Some history. Originally O-series was a prototype of Leica cameras with only 25 (approximately) of these models were produced to test the market in 1923 – two years before the commercial introduction of the Leica A. The auctioned “record breaking” camera is in beautiful and fully working condition, all parts including the paintwork are original, with the matching lens cover and the original folding finder.
The Leica 0-Series is one of the major rarities in camera history – only about three cameras are known in the original condition, with the original folding viewfinder. It also has the unique film spool and take-up spool.