Talk of cameras and one name that has been everywhere, from record books to auction circles, is Leica. We had told you about vintage Leica cameras fetching big bucks at auctions. A rare camera from the 1923 Leica o-serie camera made headlines by selling for $1.9 million in 2011. The vintage piece, as we had reported earlier, went under the hammer twice, smashing records on both occasions to become one of the most expensive cameras ever sold at an auction. And, yet again at the WestLicht auction another rare camera from 1923 part of the famous O-series, set a new record for being the most expensive camera, for a whopping $2.8 million selling price. And now, joining the list we have the black enamel Leica MP-126 which brings home a staggering $158,000.
News of the latest Leica feat at auction rooms comes days or, simply put, hours after a rare 1923 Leica camera bagged an eye-popping sum in Vienna. The German built beauty was part of a 23 camera line up from 1923. Only half of Leica’s initial lot is believed to be in survival today. While the vintage Leica’s functionality continues to remain under wraps, the piece, needless to point out, will be valued more for its historical legacy than anything else. The same applies to the Leica MP-126 as well. Sold at the Tamarkin and Bertoldi auctions, the black enamel beauty with 50mm Summicron lens was among the four Leicas auctioned on April 29th, the other three being a vintage Leica 72, a black Leica M3, a Leica M2 and a grey Leica IIIc (K). Original and very rare in Ex++ condition, the MP-126 was estimated to fetch around $75,000 - $120,000, but it surpassed its estimates.
For those who did not know, Leica’s journey through the world of lenses spans an entire century. The first Leica prototypes were created in the year 1913. Meant to be used for landscape photography, Leica’s was the first camera model that incorporated the standard cinema 35mm film. Leica went through several alterations and made its first public appearance in 1925 at the Leipzig Spring Fair. Leica I was an immediate hit, succeeded by the iconic Leica II and Leica III collections, both of which garnered massive accolades. Today, the brand is known for its carefully designed handcrafted pieces. Aside from newer innovations, the company has released whole battalions of vintage cameras at different auctions back through time. The Leica MP-126, therefore, is a value addition to an already enriched list.