'Most expensive camera ever sold' is snapped-up for $1.9m in Vienna
Dated to 1923, this Leica 0-series shows that collectible cameras could be a hot market in 2011
Vienna auction house WestLicht really captured the moment on May 28 with its €1.32m ($1.9m) sale of what is now the most expensive camera ever sold worldwide.
Around 721 lots went under the hammer at the sale, breaking many global records and becoming WestLicht's most successful camera auction so far.
Leading the sale (pre-emptively billed as Lot #1) was this extremely rare Leica of the 0-series from 1923.
Listed with a pre-sale estimate of €200,000, bidding on the camera lasted a whole 20 minutes before the shutter finally closed at an incredible €1.32m including premium.
This rare Leica of the 0-series is now the most expensive camera ever sold worldwide
Interestingly, the Leica 0-series sold to a private collector from Asia - making this the latest in a line of World Record priced sales which have been influenced by Asia's collectors.
Recent examples include a $65.5m sale of a Qi Baishi artwork, a 1940's depiction of an eagle on a pine tree, which recently set a new World Record price for a contemporary Chinese painting.
Meanwhile, other highlights in WestLicht's camera auction included a Leica MP2 in mint condition which appeared with a starting price of €70,000. It sold for €528,000, including premium.
Alongside the most expensive camera ever sold worldwide, two of the most light sensitive lenses in camera history also went under the hammer - and were eventually snapped-up for tenfold their starting price.
Asia's buyers are holding increasing sway in the world's top auctions, from a $1.9m camera to the world's most coveted artworks...
A Carl Zeiss Super-Q-Gigantar 0,33/40mm sold for €60,000 above a €6,000 estimate. Also auctioned was a Carl Zeiss Planar 0,7/50mm which went from €9,000 to €90,000.
WestLicht's blockbuster sale offers a sign that rare and historic cameras could be a hot collecting niche in coming months - especially if Asia's buyers are getting involved.
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