The best birthday present for WestLicht was a Camera from 1945!
After an exciting bidding war a buyer in the auction hall secured for himself the Leica M3 with serial number 700004 for 312,000 Euro. Called out at 30,000 Euro the rarity rose to more than ten times its starting price. The fourth ever produced serial M camera proved to be the top lot at the 29th WestLicht Camera Auction, which took place exactly on the same day WestLicht was founded 15 years ago.
A unique Leica M3D-100, an homage to David Douglas Duncan, which was assembled from original parts of a 1956 M3D specially built for the famous photographer, climbed to a magnificent 108,000 Euro (starting price: 30,000 Euro). Especially sought after were rarities from the segment of military cameras. A bidder in the room bought the Leica If MS-HK2 “Swedish Military”, which was called out at 8,000 Euro, for the respectable sum of 26,400 Euro.
In the area of historic cameras a E. Lorenz Berlin Clarissa Luxus Nacht Camera stood out, which more than doubled its starting price of 12,000 Euro to 26,400 Euro.
For 28,800 Euro a Leningrad Space FAS-1, a very rare space camera for the Soviet MIR-1 program, took off to its new owner (starting price: 12,000 Euro). Feelings of nostalgia were conjured up by a Debrie Super Parvo 35mm for 12,000 Euro, which in 1955 was used to film the famous “Sissi“ movie with Romy Schneider (starting price: 5,000 Euro).
Marilyn’s “Happy Birthday” especially for WestLicht!
Marilyn Monroe’s appeal remains unbroken even 55 years after her passing. A fan paid a considerable 120,000 Euro for 56 large format prints from Bert Stern’s “The Last Sitting” and thus the highest price for a lot in the 14th WestLicht Photo Auction. The legendary photographs, taken shortly before Marilyn’s death, had started at 60,000 Euro.
A fantastic increase was achieved by “Last days of the Kuomintang, Shanghai, December 1948 – January 1949“ by legendary Magnum photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. The photo, which documents the communist takeover of China, rose to 22,800 Euro, three times the sum of its original starting price. Just as successfully, Alfred Eisenstaedt’s “Drum Majo” from 1951 marched to 14,400 Euro (starting price: 4,000 Euro).
With similar enthusiasm buyers went for the big names of early 20th century: A portfolio with 20 signed heliogravures and 25 zinc gravures after gum prints by Viennese pictorialists Heinrich Kühn, Hugo Henneberg and Hans Watzek achieved 36,000 Euro (starting price: 15,000 Euro). Germaine Krull’s rare publication “Der Akt” (The Nude) from 1918 was sold for 20,400 Euro (starting price: 6,000 Euro).
Fotocredits: Csaba Gyönös/ WestLicht