By Ahlam Ben Saga
Rabat – The 1923 Leica camera prototype o-Series broke the records as the most expensive item sold at Vienna’s Westlicht Camera auction house on Saturday, March 10.
The initial bid for the German-made camera was EUR 400.000 before a bidding war emerged, resulting in an astonishing increase in the camera’s bid price: the winning bidder offered EUR 2.4 million ( approximately MAD 27 million) to seal the deal with the world’s highest price placed in a camera bid auction.
A Westlicht report revealed that the buyer is a private collector from Asia, and that the camera’s original condition played an important role in the increase of its bid price.
“The remarkable price certainly also reflects the camera’s fantastic original condition […] in 1923, two years before the first Leica was introduced to the market, Ernst Leitz produced 25 of this test camera, only three of which are known to still be in the original condition,” according to the German news site DW.
The first prototype Leica camera was made in the 1920s in Germany by Ernst Leitz Company; it was initially intended to photograph mountains and landscapes.