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  • LIFE photographer's Leica camera sets $2m auction record
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • cameraLeicaLIFEphotographer's

LIFE photographer's Leica camera sets $2m auction record

A remarkable auction of highly collectible Leica cameras has seen three new records set, led by the legendary M3D that was owned by the famed LIFE magazine and Picasso photographer, David Douglas.

Leica M3D Camera auction
Leica is synonymous with street photography and favoured by photojournalists



The M3D sold for an impressive €1.6m ($2m) in Vienna on November 24, climbing far past the €150,000 opening bid. The sale was held on the same day that Bonhams saw a world record set for a Luxus I model in its own auction dedicated to the Leica brand.

The M3D is now the most valuable camera from a serial production ever sold at auction, and also holds the second highest price ever paid for any camera. The current world record was set with the same auction house in May, when it sold a Leica 0-series prototype for $2.7m.

Also achieving record results was a gold-plated Luxus Leica from 1929, which sold for €1m ($1.3m) as the second most valuable camera in the auction and the most valuable of its kind. Following was the very first serial production M3, which achieved a sale price of €900,000 ($1.1m), seeing yet another record for the model.

The three cameras are now the top three most valuable serial production cameras ever sold.

Also featuring was the most famous image from the best-known Leica photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson. His Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, which is the most recognisable example of his Decisive Moment technique, sold for €12,600 ($16,311).

Paul Fraser Collectibles has some superb photography collectibles available, including an autographed copy of Yousef Karsh's Fifty Year Retrospective.

  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • cameraLeicaLIFEphotographer's