38th Leitz Photographica Auction
An abundance of sought-after collector’s items and extravagant rarities from the world of photography delighted audiences at the 38th Leitz Photographica Auction, which took place in Vienna on June 12, 2021. Due to pandemic safety restrictions, the auction at the Hotel Bristol was limited to 50 attendees – however, participants from more than 100 countries joined via internet and phone.
Black paint Leica cameras are especially coveted among collectors, as evidenced by one of the afternoon’s most exciting bidding contests. Lot no. 41 (of 469 lots in total), a Leica IIIg with a black paint finish, achieved 15 times its estimated value when it finally went under the hammer for 408,000 euros (incl. premium).
This extraordinary result was preceded by another – albeit predetermined – six-figure highlight: lot no. 12, a Leica I Mod. A Luxus from the year 1930, was offered at a starting bid of 100,000 euros. Only 95 units of this gold-plated edition were produced, and very few of them survived in near mint condition. Its extreme rarity was reflected in the estimated auction price of 200,000 to 250,000 euros. The camera ultimately changed hands for 264,000 euros (incl. premium).
Around 150,000 euros more was the final price achieved by lot 41 – a Leica IIIg Black Paint with 90mm f/2.8 Elmarit lens. With an opening bid of 12,000 euros and estimated auction price of 24,000 to 26,000 euros, the camera was the subject of extremely competitive bidding – culminating in a hammer price of 408,000 euros (incl. premium). This extraordinary sum further underlines the enormous demand for black paint Leica cameras, as Michal Kosakowski, auction expert Leica Camera Classics, confirms: “At our 17th auction in 2010, the M2 Black Paint with serial no. 1130115 went under the hammer for ‘only’ 2,880 euros (incl. premium). In 2018, it was resold at our 32nd auction for 9,600 euros (incl. premium). Today, this camera would be listed with an estimated auction price of 12,000 to 14,000 euros.”
Kubrick, Apollo-Soyuz and the Charity Lot
The auction’s special highlights further included two items with very unique histories. Lot 329, a Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/0.7 (estimated auction price: 100,000 to 120,000 euros) went to a new owner for 180,000 euros (incl. premium). The ultra-fast lens was developed to capture the dark side of the moon, and used by cult director Stanley Kubrick when shooting his film Barry Lyndon (1975).
Lot 356 comprised an Arsenal Kiev FK-6 set that was part ofthe Apollo-Soyuz space mission of 1975. Estimated at 40,000 to 50,000 euros, the camera went under the hammer for 45,600 euros (incl. premium).
The 38th edition of the Leitz Photographica Auction continued its tradition of offering a charity lot in aid of a good cause. This year’s lot, a pre-series model of the famous Leica M-A Edition 100, enjoyed great popularity. Estimated at 6,000 to 8,000 euros, the lot reached a final bid of 19,200 euros (incl. premium). The proceedsare donated to the charity ‘Licht ins Dunkel’.
As always, after the auction is before the auction. As of now, the team at Leica Camera Classics is accepting cameras for the 39th Leitz Photographica Auction in November 2021.
‘Leitz Photographica Auction’ is one of the world’s leading auction houses for classic and vintage cameras and photographica, and is now firmly established on the international scene. A rare example of the Leica 0-Series produced in 1923 was a sensational highlight at the auction in 2018. The camera achieved a record-breaking hammer price of 2.4 million euros and still holds the record for the highest price ever paid for a camera sold by auction.
For further information visit www.leitz-auction.com.
Leica Camera – A Partner for Photography
Leica Camera AG is an international, premium manufacturer of cameras and sports optics. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is based on a long tradition of excellent quality, German craftsmanship and German industrial design, combined with innovative technologies. An integral part of the brand's culture is the diversity of activities the company undertakes for the advancement of photography. In addition to the Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies spread around the world, there are the Leica Hall of Fame Award and, in particular, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), which is considered one of the most innovative sponsorship awards existing today. Furthermore, Leica Camera AG, with its headquarters in Wetzlar, Hesse, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, has a worldwide network of its own national organisations and Leica Retail Stores.