Leica Luxus II could become the most valuable camera ever sold

A 1932 Leica Luxus II could become the most valuable camera ever sold when it headlines Bonhams' Leica and Classic Camera sale in Hong Kong on November 22.

Given an estimate of $773,862-1.1m, it first came to light on the Antiques Roadshow 12 years ago.

Leica Luxus II Bonhams
The Leica Luxus II is one of just four examples ever produced

One of just four examples ever produced, the gold plated Leica Luxus II is among the world's rarest cameras. The whereabouts of the other three in the series is unknown, potentially making it one of a kind.

It features a faux lizard skin casing, along with its original crocodile skin carry case - the first example to come to light.

It was used regularly by its owner, a keen amateur photographer who was given it after the second world war.

The incredible rarity of the model, combined with recent record sales for vintage Leicas, indicates that the camera is likely to perform well at the sale, potentially far exceeding its estimate.

The current record price paid for any camera is held by a 1923 Leica 0-Series, one of just 25 test models ever built, which achieved $2.8m in Vienna last year.

A Leica M3D owned by LIFE magazine photographer David Douglas became the most valuable serial production camera when it made $2m at the same sale. 

China is now the world's largest market for vintage cameras.

Following the record sale of a Luxus I in Hong Kong in November of last year, Jon Baddley, Bonhams' head of collectables, commented that the "market is outstripping New York and London."

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