Bonhams Leica auction in Hong Kong

Bonhams will hold an action for rare Leica cameras in Hong Kong on November 23. The top lot is a Leica Luxus I camera (1930) 
No. 48048 
with 50mm f/3.5 Elmar lens and faux lizard skin body covering. The camera is expected to reach HK$1,200,000-1,800,000 (£100,000-150,000). The Luxus cameras were produced on special order only in very small numbers between 1929 and 1930, using serial numbers falling between 28692 and 68834. Just 95 units were originally produced and many less are known to exist today.

Provenance: 

this camera was from the collection of E. J. Newton (Jack), one of the founder members of the Leica Historical Society and its first president. It remained within his private museum in Sutton Coldfield, England, and later, along with most of his collection, went on display at the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, Milsom St., Bath. Thence to current vendor.

Press release:

BONHAMS HOLD FIRST EXCLUSIVE LEICA CAMERA SALE IN HONG KONG

The camera brand beloved by Henri Cartier-Bresson father of photojournalism

Bonhams will hold a unique trail-blazing sale of Leica cameras in Hong Kong on November 23, the first such auction sale of its kind.

The sale will be on view at Bonhams Knightsbridge, Montpelier Street, London SW7 1HH from the 21st-24th October before being shipped to Hong Kong for sale.

The sale includes over 250 lots of Leica cameras and accessories from two major private collections including items from the estate of the late Dr George Daniels who was undoubtedly the most famous and well respected watch maker this world has known. Since 1969, Dr Daniels worked hard to successfully continue and revive the world of hand made mechanical watches which were threatened by the emergence of the quartz watch. The proceeds from the Daniels collection will fund the George Daniels Educational Trust that furthers the higher education of pupils studying the disciplines of horology, engineering, medicine or building construction.

The famous French photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson, considered to be the father of modern photojournalism, used Leica cameras throughout his career. The robust and diminutive design of Leica made it ideal for his “life reportage” style that influenced generations of photographers who followed.

The legendary Leica camera brand was first brought to the attention of the public at the Leipzig Trade Fair of 1925 when the German scientific instrument company, Ernst Leitz, launched the Leica I, a revolutionary full-frame 35mm film, lightweight camera invented by the company's brilliant engineer and designer Oskar Barnack that was based on his 1913 prototype UR-Leica.

Leitz continued to launch innovative camera models, introducing a lens coupled rangefinder camera for measuring object to film distance as well as mounting interchangeable screw thread lenses, the most famous of which throughout the decades prior to WWII was the 5cm Elmar f/3.5, still made in collapsible form as the 50mm f/2.8 Elmar-M. These small format compact film cameras are beautifully made, expensive and continue to appealed to a wide variety of both amateur and professional photographers right up to today.

Bonhams
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com.

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