Saturday, March 4, 2017


WestLicht of Vienna has established itself as the foremost auction house for Leica equipment.  In recent years they have sold some rather rare and amazing pieces of equipment, some of which have set records.

The most remarkable results from their previous auctions:


Leica 0-Series sold for EUR 2,160.000 - the most expensive camera ever sold!

Only approx. 25 of these cameras were produced to test the market in 1923, 2 years before the commercial introduction of the Leica A. The camera is one of the major rarities in camera history!


M3D Black Paint sold for EUR 1.680,000

Famous forerunner of all MP cameras specially designed and built by Leitz for the American photographer David Douglas Duncan. Only 4 of these cameras (M3D-1 to M3D-4) were produced and used for many years by Duncan.  Life photographer Duncan (born January 23, 1916) is among the most influential photographers of the 20th century. He is best known for his dramatic combat photographs of Korean and Vietnam War and his work with his close friend Pablo Picasso.


M3 Chrome No. 1.000.000 sold for EUR 840,000

This famous camera, the 'One Millionth Leica', was presented to Dr. Ludwig Leitz by Willi Stein, the 'Father' of the Leica M3 and was part of the Leitz Museum and listed as one of the few official presentation cameras, no. 1.000.001 was given to Alfred Eisenstaedt.


Leica 2500GG w. Leica-Motor MOOEV sold for EUR 576,000

The offered motor no. 10006 is the earliest example known to exist and, like the camera, is in near mint and perfect working condition. It was delivered on October, 27th 1941 to Bln. Berlin.
The Leica 250 was known as Leica “Reporter”. With its large cassettes it  accommodated 33 feet of film, so it could be used for up to 250 exposures without re-loading.


Leica III Mod. F LUXUS 'Karl Henkell' sold for EUR 528,000

Unique outfit of original Leitz gold plated 'Luxus' camera with brown lizard leather covering and 2 gold plated lenses (Summar 2/5cm no.190131, Elmar 3.5/3.5cm no.182545). It comes from the estate of the famous German sparkling wine producer Karl Henkell (Henkell Trocken) who used the camera until 1944.

However, WestLicht auctions are not for Leica equipment only.  In the past some other brands have achieved some astonishing results in their own right.

Hasselblad 500 'HEDC' NASA 'Jim Irwin' sold for EUR 660,000

Jim Irwin took exactly 299 pictures with this Hasselblad 500 'EL DATA CAMERA HEDC' during his 3 days stay on the lunar surface and 96 more on the way to the moon and back again. The offered camera no.1038 was one of 14 - 15 cameras used on the moon surface during the APOLLO missions 11-17. About 12 cameras were left on the moon, as the astronauts only took the film magazines back home in order to take lunar rocks in the equivalent of the weight of the cameras.


Nikon One sold for EUR 384,000

The earliest known surviving production Nikon in the world! Nikon started in March 1948 to assemble cameras (with serial number 60922). The offered camera is one of two cameras made in April 1948 and the 3rd of all Nikon production cameras!

Giroux 'Daguerréotype' sold for EUR 732,000

The “Giroux Daguerréotype” is the first commercially-produced camera in the world and represents the initial spark that started the worldwide spread of photography. From 1839 it was manufactured in Paris in limited numbers by Alphones Giroux. The design was taken from original blueprints drawn up by Giroux’s brother-in-law, the inventor Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre. It is a wooden sliding box Daguerreotype camera for 167x216 mm (“full-plate” 6.5x8.5 inch) exposures.

Submissions For the camera auction still possible until the end of March 2017!


16. Photo auction: 9 June 2017, 17 h CET
31. Camera auction: 10 June 2017, 11 h CET

More information can be found here.

Peter Coeln and team
WestLicht Photographica Auction
Westbahnstraße 40
A-1070 Vienna
T +43 (0) 1 523 56 59


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  1. Why on earth would anyone pay that kind of money for an old camera?

    1. There are a variety of reasons, one of them being investment. In the 70s, a Luxus Leica sold for the then unbelievable price of $25,000. Just recently WestLicht sold a Luxus Leica for $528,000. You would have to be quite lucky to have that much of a gain on the stock market or any other investment opportunity.

  2. Which shows once again: Leicas are in a class all their own.