Renowned auction house "Leitz Photographica Auction" celebrates its 20th anniversary, holding the world's largest auction of historic cameras for the 40th time. Among the unique collectibles and extraordinary examples of camera history up for auction on June 11, 2022, at the Leitz Park – the international Leica headquarters in Wetzlar – an exceptional highlight stands out: the Leica 0-Series No. 105 produced in 1923.
The 0-Series, a batch of prototypes, holds a special appeal for collectors of historically significant technical artefacts. Before the Leitz Camera – Leica for short – went into series production in the mid-1920s and made the 35mm format the new standard for professional photographers, approximately 23 examples of the 0-Series were manufactured. Around a dozen of them are estimated to still be in existence today.
The 0-Series No.105 is not only exceptional because of its rarity; it was also one of the personal cameras of Oskar Barnack, the inventor of 35mm photography, whose name adorns the viewfinder of the camera. Barnack used the 105 to capture motifs from his family life, gaining technical insights he then applied to the further development of the camera and its succeeding models. The historical significance of the 0-Series No. 105 as well as its famous previous owner are reflected in its estimated price of 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 euros. The starting bid is 1,000,000 euros. To put these sums in perspective: The world's most expensive camera to date – the 0-Series No. 122 – sold at the 32nd Leitz Photographica Auction in 2018 for 2,4 million euros (including buyer’s premium).
Custom-made for a good cause
Those traditionally include, for instance, the charity lot, the proceeds of which will be donated to charities in Austria and, for the first time, Germany. To celebrate Leitz Photographica Auction's anniversary, a unique camera set will be auctioneered for a good cause. The analogue Leica MP with the serial number 5630769 and the Leica Elmar-M 1:2.8/50 with the serial number 3739015 are unique pieces that stem from a cooperation between Leica Camera Classics and Leica Camera Germany. The decorative metal exterior parts of the camera were coated with a layer of real gold by means of electroplating. The camera's top plate has a further special feature: it does not bear any of the typical engravings. The camera's serial number is discreetly engraved on the underside of the winding lever, making this particular Leica MP unique. The set is complemented by a black Leica Elmar-M 1:2.8/50, reworked directly at Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar. Instead of the usual engravings laid out in white paint, this lens has gold-coloured engravings to match the camera.
‘Leitz Photographica Auction’ is one of the world’s leading auction houses for classic and vintage cameras and photographica, and is now firmly established on the international scene. A rare example of the Leica 0-Series produced in 1923 was a sensational highlight at the auction in 2018. The camera achieved a record-breaking hammer price of 2,4 million euros and still holds the record for the highest price ever paid for a camera sold by auction.
Bids for the upcoming auction on June 11 can be submitted in advance – online (www.leitz-auction.com), in written form or by telephone. Live bidding during the auction is possible on-site at Hotel Bristol in Vienna or at www.leitz-auction.com and www.liveauctioneers.com.
40th Leitz Photographica Auction
Where: Leitz Park, Wetzlar (Germany)
When: 11. June 2022 11h CET
For questions regarding registration and bids, please contact:
Leitz Photographica Auction
T +43 1 523 56 59 – 18