A rare 1923 Leica went for 2.16 million euros at an auction in Vienna at the weekend, making it the most expensive camera ever sold, the auctioneer said.
An anonymous buyer won the bidding battle for the German camera, which still works and is one of around 25 test versions of Leica 0-Series cameras produced in 1923, two years before the start of serial production. Only half of them have been preserved.
Most expensive camera - Leica camera Picture
Including the buyer's premium, the price paid at the WestLicht auction on Saturday was more than seven times the starting price of 300,000 euros, WestLicht said.
It did not identify the previous owner, who it said was a private collector in Europe.
A different Leica 0-series sold in November 2007 for 336,000 euros at auction, and then again in May 2011 for 1.32 million euros including the buyer's premium, WestLicht said.
The Guinness world record for the Largest collection of film camera was set by Richard LaRiviere (USA), who owns 894 different film cameras.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the Largest collection of still cameras (still photography) was set by Dilish Parekh of Mumbai, India, who has a collection of 4,425 antique cameras.
The camera was picked up by an anonymous bidder, and the price paid was more than seven times the starting price of €300,000. The bidding stopped at €1.8 million, and the rest is for taxes and other fees.
In 1923, the German photography equipment manufacturer released only 25 test versions of Leica 0-series cameras.
These test models were the prototypes for the famous Leica A cameras, the first commercially successful compact cameras to use 35mm film.
Serial production started about two years after that. Of the 25 test versions, only half the number have survived.
The World's Most Expensive Camera is still in working condition.
Leica was founded in 1849, specialising in the development of lenses and microscopes. Optical engineer Oskar Barnack worked in the microscope division, but was a keen photographer in his spare time.
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