Results from the 36th Leitz Photographica Auction

The results from the 36th Leitz Photographica Auction are now available online (see also this post). For example, the pictured above Leica M10 prototype P01 camera sold for €32,000 euros excl. buyer’s premium. Here are a few other Leica highlights from the auction:

Leica M2 grey paint “Betreibskamera” (sold for €360,000 incl. buyer’s premium)

In 1960 twenty grey-painted M2 cameras were delivered to the US Air Force in Germany. Out of these only ten cameras are believed still to exist, which makes the grey M2 is one of the rarest production Leicas ever.

The offered camera is an original pre-production sample of the grey M2. It shows the same, exceptional grey-paint finish, and includes some unique features. The serial number 2071 is among a batch of Leica M2 Betriebskameras (2001-2082) produced between 1958-1962, of which the no.2071 is the only grey painted known to exist. Unlike the serial production cameras, it is missing the 135mm framelines.

The technical highlight of the camera is, however, hidden inside. Both shutter blinds are not made out of the usual fabric but are made of metal, coated in black paint. Until now, only a few shutter prototypes have been known with this special feature.

Included in this lot is written expertise from Mr. Ottmar Michaely confirming the originality of this unique camera. This is, without a doubt, one of the most special Leicas we have ever seen!

Leica M2 black paint “Walker Evans” (sold for €60,000 incl. buyer’s premium)

Original black paint M2, owned and used by the famous U.S. photographer Walker Evans, incl. leather strap, screw-mount 8-element Summicron 2/35mm no.1671593, 12571J hood, Provenance: a personal and professional assistant of Mr. Evans who received his camera as a gift.

Mr. Evans bought this camera in 1962 and used it for as long as he used the 35mm format, until 1973 (when he began to use a Polaroid SX-70 almost exclusively). Also included in the lot are two books: Jerry L. Thompson ‘The Last Years of Walker Evans’ and James R. Mellow ‘Walker Evans’ – both include photos Evans made with Leica camera.

Walker Evans (1903-1975) was an American photographer and photojournalist. He is widely acknowledged as one of the most important photographers of the twentieth century and worked primarily in the US. His enormous artistic influence has been recognized not only there, but also internationally.

He is best known for his work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) documenting the effects of the Great Depression on the rural population in the Mid 1930s. The portraits of the three families Fields, Borroughs and Tingle became icons of photography history.

After 1945, Evans photographed, among others, American urban landscapes and industrial buildings for magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Architectural Forum, Life and Fortune. Because of his documentary style, he is considered the forerunner of the German photographer couple Bernd and Hilla Becher.

In 1938 the MoMa organized the first exhibition for a single photographer for Walker Evans: American Photographs. Since then, many of his works are in permanent collections of museums or have been the subject of retrospectives at institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the George-Eastman Museum or the Centre Pompidou.

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