Wetzlar Camera Auctions #4 results now available online: 1954 Leica M square format prototype camera sold for €687,500


The results of Wetzlar Camera Auctions #4 are now available online:

Top results at Wetzlar Camera Auction

Wetzlar (wca). At the fourth auction of Wetzlar Camera Auctions (WCA) for historical cameras and accessories, a total of 256 lots were auctioned last Saturday. The majority of these were Leica cameras.

Some of the exhibits offered in the catalogue caused quite a stir, already in the run-up tot he auction. Up to 8 telephone bidders were simultaneously connected to the floor, when individual top pieces came up for auction. Participation from worldwide online biddersn was also particularly high. In total, more than 500 customers were connected this way alone – a challenge for auctioneer Anne-Katrin Hoffmann and the entire WCA team.

“The market for collectibles remains extremely strong. Historical cameras also benefit from this, especially those from the traditional Wetzlar manufacturer Leica,” emphasized WCA co-owner Lars Netopil (Wetzlar) before the start of the auction.

The prototype of a Leica M with a square image format from 1954 was sold for an astounding EUR 687,500 (including buyer’s premium), making it the lot with the highest price achieved in yesterday’s auction. A Leica If Betriebskamera from the estate of a former Leitz designer was sold at EUR 175,000.

A particularly unusually high result of EUR 582,500 was achieved for a Leica IIIg from the former inventory of the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) with a NATO olive-green body-cover from 1959, after a starting price of EUR 8,000.

Again, spectacular results were also achieved for rare Leica copies and lenses from third-party manufacturers with a Leica mount. An extremely rare prototype of the Italian San Giorgio Janua camera from around 1947 was sold for EUR 75,000. A Dallmeyer Super-Six Anastigmat lens from 1952 fetched a whopping EUR 56,250. A 5 cm Macro Plasmat f/2.7 by Hugo Meyer Görlitz from the 1930s was also sold at this price. Another example of this lens with a bayonet mount for the Contax camera even fetched twice the estimate at EUR 75,000.

A particularly interesting section of the auction catalogue this year was the rare black painted versions of the early Leica M models M3, MP and M2 from the 1950s/60s. At the time, these cameras and the associated black-painted lenses were reserved for press photographers – these versions were not available in the regular sales program. An extremely rare black painted Leica MP from 1957 was sold for EUR 625,000. The also very rare black lacquered Leica IIIf camera from the former inventory of the Swedish Military found a new owner for an amazing EUR 162,500.

The Leica MDa NASA version on offer was the second example of this type known anywhere in the world. The bidding was correspondingly strong on the part of several interested parties who joined by telephone, against whom one bidder in the auction room finally prevailed with his bid EUR 625,000. finally. A unit of the Soviet Salyut 1 V medium format space camera from 1968 achieved a hammer price of EUR 93,750 after a starting price of EUR 30,000.

WCA co-owner Jo Geier (Vienna): “Space has always held a special fascination, also for camera collectors. In addition, the corresponding cameras were only manufactured in small series or sometimes even as one-offs. Accordingly, such pieces are rarely offered on the market. On the demand side, rare space cameras are at the top of many collectors’ wish lists. This explains the exceptionally high prices sometimes achieved in this field.”

As far as top pieces are concerned, it has been shown in recent years that WCA also achieves top prices not only for Leitz / Leica items, but also for products of other manufacturers overall.

This was also impressively demonstrated in yesterday’s auction, when a particularly spectacular result was achieved for an ultra-fast 58 mm f/1.0 Nikon lens from the 1970s, which is probably a one-off. Two customers who connected by phone engaged in an exciting bidding war, so that the lens was finally sold for an unbelievable EUR 187,500. This is the world’s highest price ever for a Nikon lens at auction.

Consignments for the 2023 Wetzlar Camera Auction will be accepted immediately. Information at www.wetzlarcameraauctions.com.

Leica MDa NASA replica camera with Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 lens expected to sell for $80k in the upcoming Wetzlar Camera Auction

The next Wetzlar Camera Auctions

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