Historic Leica rarities at the anniversary auction ‘15 years of WestLicht – the showcase for photography’
On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of WestLicht Auctions, the 30th WestLicht camera auction opens at 11 a.m. on 19 November 2016 and will be offering numerous desirable Leica rarities. On 18 November at 5 p.m., the day before the camera auction, avid collectors of photographica also have an opportunity to bid for photographs and portraits by famous photographers at the WestLicht Photo Auction.
Among the highlights of the anniversary auction are two versions of the RIFLE sets manufactured by E. Leitz New York, which were first publicly presented in July 1938. The RITOO set with a 20 cm Telyt lens and the original case is expected to find a new owner for somewhere between 150,000 and 180,000 euros. Bids for the second version, a RITEL with a 40 cm Telyt lens and also in its original case, are expected to be in the region of 170,000 to 200,000 euros.
Another unusual item, Herbert List’s black paint Leica M3 (No. 915252) from 1958 is also up for auction (estimated hammer price: 40,000 to 50,000 euros). For many years, the famous German Magnum photographer and master of light (1903-1975) shot assignments for magazines like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Life with this camera. This early black paint version of the camera from an unofficial series is one of the rarest Leica cameras. Around 90 were built, and only very few of them have survived until today.
Another focal point of the WestLicht anniversary auction is the prototype of a special edition produced by Leica to commemorate another anniversary that took place this year – 25 years of the Leica Store in Vienna. The special commemorative edition of 25 Leica M-A analogue cameras and a reworked Leicameter MR-4 in grey hammertone lacquer and a silver Leica Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. in the classic design of the first Noctilux 50 mm f/1.2 with specially engraved edition numbers was released to celebrate this silver jubilee. The hammer price for the prototype of this special edition is expected to be between 16,000 and 20,000 euros.
In addition to Leica products, visitors to the anniversary auction will also have an opportunity to bid for numerous collectors’ pieces and rarities from other camera manufacturers. Bids can be placed online, on the phone, by fax and live from around the world at www.liveauctioneers.com, or in person in the WestLicht auction rooms at Westbahnstrasse 40, 1070 Vienna, Austria.
About Leica Camera
Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the construction of lenses. And today, in combination with innovative technologies, Leica products continue to guarantee better pictures in all situations in the worlds of visualisation and perception. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hesse in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal. The company operates branch offices in Australia, China, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, UK and the USA. New and innovative products have been the driving force behind the company’s positive development in recent years.