They say a photo is really worth a thousand text, but that pales in comparison to a digicam truly worth about $15 million. That’s the new globe document for the sale of a camera, set this summer at the Leitz Photographica Auction, when a Leica -Collection No. 105 hammered for €14.4 million (about $15,151,847 at the time of the June 11 sale).
The auction takes location two times a 12 months and is thought of amid the world’s most significant and most renowned for vintage cameras and other optical products through its affiliation with the Leitz Digital camera. Recognized colloquially as Leicas, the Leitz Camera was the world’s initially 35mm digital camera, and classic products are eminently collectible as artifacts of modern images. Nevertheless, the Leica that broke auction records in June was a thing added unique — one of approximately 22 products in the prototype “0-Series” made by Ernst Leitz, the camera’s inventor, ahead of it went into huge release in the mid-1920s.
Even further maximizing the provenance of the practically 100-yr-old digital camera was its affiliation with a well known earlier proprietor, Oskar Barnack. Barnack was an inventor and German photographer who intended the so-identified as “Liliput camera” in 1913, developing a prototype for what would afterwards grow to be the first commercially productive 35mm nevertheless camera at Ernst Leitz Optische Werke in Wetzlar, Germany. Barnack applied the -Collection 105 to seize times from his spouse and children everyday living and used the expertise he gained in the procedure to more establish the digicam for buyer use. His name is engraved on the best of the viewfinder of No. 105, building it a genuinely unique merchandise, steeped many moments in excess of in the origins of modern day images.
But while the unique character of the digicam drew auction predictions of €2,000,000 to 3,000,000, it seemed no one was prepared to see it draw virtually 5 situations the high estimate by hammer drop. Formerly, the most pricey digicam in the earth — also an -Series, serial selection 122 — was offered at the 32nd Westlicht camera auction in Vienna, Austria, in 2018 for $2.96 million.
The great selling price obtained by No. 105 underlines “the curiosity in traditionally important objects from the earth of photography, which has been continually growing for several years,” according to Alexander Sedlak, Controlling Director of Leica Digital camera Classics.
Obviously, Leicas also have a prolonged and symbiotic partnership with photography as an art type. Photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson, who famously reported “the digital camera is an extension of the eye,” extended his eye through a 35mm Leica. William Eggleston was also a supporter, amassing some 300 Leicas in his personal selection. From the candid job of Bruce Davidson to the studio arsenal of Annie Leibovitz‘s extremely structured shoots, Leicas have aided condition the final century of business, hobbyist, and fine art pictures.
The id of the buyer remains undisclosed, but whoever they are, they showed their perseverance to proudly owning a piece of photographic history.