'Kiss in Times Square' photo brings 33% increase on top estimate

Type the phrase "VJ Day" into Google Images and you will be bombarded with digitised reproductions of Alfred Eisenstaedt's 1945 photo 'Kiss in Times Square'.

It is no wonder then that the iconic original image, which has become synonymous with the declaration of peace following world war two, brought €24,000 ($30,977) to WestLicht Photographica Auction on May 24.

Kiss in Time Square
Contrary to popular opinion, 'Kiss in Times Square' did not appear on the cover of Life magazine, but as part of a multi-page spread

Estimated to be worth €18,000, the signed and stamped photograph sold with a 33.3% increase.

The following day, Eisenstaedt's vintage Leica III rangefinder - the very camera used to take the world famous photo - also put in a strong performance at the Vienna auction house, making €114,000 ($147,171).

Estimated to be worth a mere €25,000, the camera provoked a bidding war, and eventually sold with a 356% increase.

'Kiss in Times Square' - officially entitled V-J Day Kiss - features a sailor passionately kissing a nurse. Since German-born photographer Eisenstaedt was rapidly photographing the ever-changing events which were taking place in New York that day, he never got the opportunity to acquire the names and details or either the kisser or the kissee.  

In his photographic memoir, The Eye of Eisenstaedt, he writes: "I was walking through the crowds on V-J Day, looking for pictures. I noticed a sailor coming my way.

"He was grabbing every female he could find and kissing them all - young girls and old ladies alike.

"Now if this girl hadn't been a nurse, if she'd been dressed in dark clothes, I wouldn't have had a picture. The contrast between her white dress and the soldier's dark uniform gives the photograph its extra impact."

We have a raft of fascinating art and photography collectibles in stock, as well as these historic items relating to world war two.

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