A prototype Leica camera which has just been auctioned has fetched €2.16 million (about $2.77 million) becoming the world’s most expensive camera ever.
The camera is a Leica Null-Serie camera, one of only 25 prototypes built in 1923 by the famed company.
Leica says in its site in 1923, the company produced “the first 25 prototypes of a small-format 35mm camera named the ‘Null-Serie’ for test purposes”.
The Leica Null-Serie (or 0-Series) was auctioned in Vienna at the Westlicht Photographica auction.
The camera is described by Westlicht on its site as follows:
“Leica 0-Series no 116 (1923)
Only approx. 25 of these cameras were produced to test the market in 1923, 2 years before the commercial introduction of the Leica A. The camera is in excellent and fully working condition, all parts including the paintwork are original, with the matching lens cover, the folding finder has been replaced by the later Galilean finder as usual. The camera is one of the major rarities in camera history, Leica 0-series no.107 was sold in our 19th auction for a world-record price of Euro 1.320.000 including commission!”
This camera is rare as today, only 12 specimens are known to exist.
After the Null-Serie, Leica produced their first-ever 35mm camera which was released in 1925.
Image from Westlicht Auction