Results from the 20th Westlicht Photographica Auction

Here are the results from the 20th Westlicht Photographica Auction that took place today, the full PDF file can be downloaded here:

More that 200 bidders and collectors from all over the world, some of whom came in person to Vienna, participated in the 20th WestLicht auction. It was sensational with 94% of the total 650 lots being sold in the hall, on the phone or over the Internet. Total sales of the camera auction amounted to 2,600,000 Euros.

The 9th lot, a rare Leica I with a calf leather cover from 1930, one of only three examples known to exist, climbed from 15,000 Euros to 120,000 Euros, including buyer’s premium.

There was an exciting bidding war for Lot 37, the Leica equipment of the famous Austrian photographer Inge Morath, which increased from 2,500 Euros to 16,800 Euros, including buyer’s premium. Morath’s brother Werner, who was present in the auction hall, watched with visible excitement. A photograph by Inge Morath from 1954, showing her with this same camera, was sold in the accompanying photography auction for 3,360 Euros (starting price 1,000 Euros, Lot 1099).

The black-painted Leica MP No. 28 (Lot 137), built around 1958 for professional photographers, was sold for 121,200 Euros including buyer’s premium with a starting price of 22,000 Euros.

The Leica KE-7A, built for the US military with the special Elcan 2/66mm lens, was hammered for 66,000 Euros (starting price 12,000 Euros).

A special rarity, a red painted Leica underwater housing for the US-Army, reached the peak price in this auction. Continually the price climbed from the initial 12.000 Euros to a staggering 150.000 Euros including premium.

The Leica special edition cameras from 2011, limited to 20 units each, which were designed to mark the 20th anniversary of the Leica Shop in Vienna, were in particularly high demand. The analog M3-P was increased from 15,000 Euros to 60,000 Euros and, its digital counterpart, the M9-P, went from 15,000 Euros to 48,000 Euros. Both cameras are equipped with the chrome Noctilux 0.95/50mm, which was built by Leica exclusively for these editions (Lot 178 + 179). This is impressive evidence of the enormous demand that Leica products currently have worldwide.

Even a Leica copy from China, the so-called Red Flag, built in 1977 on behalf of Mao’s widow, was proudly sold for 108,000 Euros including buyer’s premium after a starting price of 16,000 Euros only (Lot 274).

The Hasselblad 500 EL / M from the first series of motorised NASA space cameras, built for the manned Apollo moon missions, achieved a hammer price of 21,840 Euros including buyer’s premium (Lot 283).

One of only four cameras made by Polaroid in cooperation with Cartier, the Glamour Polaroid Image Cartier, sold for an incredible 18,000 Euros, including buyer’s premium. The camera is decorated with 22 Carat gold borders in three characteristic Cartier gold tones and is crowned with a sapphire (Lot 467).

Miniature and spy cameras were offered from the inventory of the KGB and Stasi and achieved record prices. International museums were bidding for these, like the pen-camera “David” from the East German secret service (Lot 419, starting price of 7,000 Euros, sold for 22,800 Euros).

The next WestLicht Photographic Auction will be held in May 2012.

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