Leica rifle camera prototype to make $395,500?

A rare Leica rifle camera prototype is coming to auction.

Ernst Leitz - known today as Leica - produced the New York Leica Gun Rifle Prototype in tiny numbers in the late 1930s.

Leica rifle camera
The camera was designed to enable wildlife and sports photographers to take steadier shots

Featuring a Leica Standard, the camera came equipped with a rifle stock. Leica hoped that by resting the rifle stock on the shoulder, sports and wildlife photographers would be able to take steadier, and sharper shots.

According to the auctioneer, Westlicht, only 10-12 of the production models still exist. One sold for $104,000 in 2011.

This prototype version is rarer still. It has a $395,725 high estimate ahead of the June 13 auction in Vienna, Austria. Online bidding stands at $248,650.

The auction house states the camera is in "100% original" condition, a factor sure to appeal to collectors.

The camera has superb single family provenance. It has been consigned by the son of the original owner.

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