Wetzlar, November 2023.

For over 20 years, the auction house Leitz Photographica Auction has been one of the world’s most influential hubs for vintage cameras, historical camera accessories, and photographs. Accordingly, Leitz Photographica Auction 43, which took place from November 24 to 25 at Hotel Bristol in Vienna, attracted high-profile collectors from around the globe. Spearheading the highlights of the auction were two rare black paint Leica MP cameras which sold for 1,440,000 and 1,320,000 euros respectively. The two cameras have a famous previous owner – Hollywood legend Yul Brynner photographed with them in the 1950s and 60s. Other highlights included a bundle of eight photographs by Dayanita Singh and the "Leica M10-P 'Ghost Edition' for Hodinkee". The latter was auctioned as part of the "Truth in Focus" charity event, a cooperation between Leica Camera USA and Leitz Photographica Auction. All proceeds from "Truth in Focus" (40,550 US dollars – approx. 37,000 euros) will go to the NGO "Committee to Protect Journalists" (CPJ)

Yul Brynner's MP’s secure place in top 10 most expensive cameras 
The MP-59 and MP-60 from the estate of Yul Brynner topped the long list of highlights. "Even not considering the prominent previous owner, the two cameras are very rare and hence highly valuable. Unsurprisingly, they met with keen interest from bidders", says Alexander Sedlak, managing director of the auction house. Specially developed for reportage photography – as tools for photojournalists, that is – Leitz produced a mere total of 412 MP’s, only 141 of them in black paint. Yul Brynner's two cameras come from this select circle. The Hollywood star, known for his leading roles in "The King and I" (1956) and "The Magnificent Seven" (1960), also excelled as a photographer alongside his acting career. His Leica MP's accompanied him to film sets and on trips through Europe.

Estimated at 700,000 to 800,000 euros each, both cameras ultimately exceeded all expectations. The MP-59 was auctioned for 1,440,000 euros, and the MP-60 for 1,320,000 euros (both prices including premium). "The MP’s thus secured a place in the top 10 most expensive cameras of all time, providing a brilliant conclusion to our transnational Yul Brynner focus", says Alexander Sedlak. “Even some of the most dedicated fans of Brynner don’t know that the famed actor was also a gifted photographer. In recent months, the Leica Gallery Network exhibited a selection of his works at various locations, for instance in Los Angeles and Vienna. In addition, our fall roadshow in Japan put the spotlight on Brynner's MP-59 and MP-60."

Photographs and charity at the start of the auction weekend.
The photography auction "Shaping Visions" kicked off the Leitz Photographica weekend at Hotel Bristol in Vienna on the evening of November 24. Over 100 photographs taken between 1925 and 2017 were up for sale, including works by renowned artists such as Ernst Haas, Nan Goldin, Alfred Seiland and Masayoshi Sukita. As was the case with the camera auction that followed the next day, Yul Brynner ultimately took center stage. The film star's photographic oeuvre comprises more than 8,000 images - many of which were taken during the shooting of Hollywood films. A special edition of his photograph of actress Audrey Hepburn enjoying a gondola ride in Venice in 1965 was auctioned for 14,400 euros (including premium).

A collection of eight photographs taken between 1989 and 1999 by Indian photographer Dayanita Singh also generated a great deal of interest: "The bundle 'The Third Sex' consists of eight silver gelatine prints showing one of Dayanita Singh's earliest photo series entitled 'Myself Mona Ahmed'. In it, Singh documented the life of the eunuch Mona Ahmed in all its complexity for more than ten years," says Caroline Guschelbauer, in charge of photography auctions at Leitz Photographica Auction. The lot was sold at a price of 12,000 euros (including premium).

„Truth in Focus“ 
At Leitz Photographica Auction, the current charity lot always attracts special attention. This time, a comprehensive charity event took its place. Entitled "Truth in Focus", the event stemmed from a cooperation between Leica Camera USA and Leitz Photographica Auction. “Truth in Focus” comprised 22 lots, most of them provided by celebrity artists and photography enthusiasts. In addition to photographs by Leonard Freed, Deborah Anderson, and Todd Hido (to name but a few), the offer also included two exceptional cameras. A "Leica M10-P 'Ghost Edition' for Hodinkee" ultimately sold for 18,000 US dollars, and a Leica M10 Monochrom by Jason Momoa, which the "Aquaman" star had engraved, sold for 5,400 US dollars. In total, "Truth in Focus" raised 40,550 US dollars (approx. 37,000 euros) for the "Committee to Protect Journalists" (CPJ). The NGO champions press freedom and the human rights of journalists worldwide.

See you again in Wetzlar As always, after the auction is before the auction! The team of Leica Camera Classics is now accepting cameras and photographs for the next event – Leitz Photographica Auction 44 will take place in June 2024 at Leitz Park in Wetzlar. Please find more details at and

Inquiries concerning the auction house and bids:

Leitz Photographica Auction
Andreas Schweiger
T +43 1 523 56 59 – 18

Press and media inquiries: 
Yield Public Relations
Leonard Häusler-Dworschak
T +43 676 50 22 609



Press Release 43 Leitz Photographica Auction.pdf
pdf (84.64 KB)

Leica Camera – A Partner for Photography

Leica Camera AG is an international, premium manufacturer of cameras and sports optics. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is based on a long tradition of excellent quality, German craftsmanship and German industrial design, combined with innovative technologies. An integral part of the brand's culture is the diversity of activities the company undertakes for the advancement of photography. In addition to the Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies spread around the world, there are the Leica Hall of Fame Award and, in particular, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), which is considered one of the most innovative sponsorship awards existing today. Furthermore, Leica Camera AG, with its headquarters in Wetzlar, Hesse, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, has a worldwide network of its own national organisations and Leica Retail Stores.