A Sir Jonathan Ive-designed Leica digital rangefinder camera is the highlight of the (RED) charity auction due to take place at Sotheby's in New York on November 23. Only a single unit will be produced, making this item one of a kind.
Sir Jonathan Ive is vice-president of design at Apple and frequently lauded as one of the greatest designers of his generation. He has worked for Apple since the early 90s and is responsible for the look of some of the most iconic products of the 21st century, including the iPod, the iPhone and the Macbook.
Ive and fellow designer Marc Newson have created all the pieces in the auction - including a pair of gold headphones and a Steinway piano. No estimates are available for the items at the present time, but the previous (RED) auction, held in 2008 and featuring work by Damien Hirst, Bansky and Anish Kapoor, raised over $40m.
Deputy chairman of Sotheby's Europe, Oliver Barker, said: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire objects of singular design excellence and innovation, and simultaneously raise much needed funds for the fight against AIDS."
Leica is one of the best known camera manufacturers, with a long and venerable history. In November 2012 a Leica Luxus I sold for $962,518 at Bonhams in Hong Kong - 314.4% above its $232,247 estimate and a world record for the model.
Ive commented: "It's been a fantastic honour to curate this collection of objects with Marc for the auction of Sotheby's. Each piece represents the value of thoughtful design. What we create for each other is not only a comment on our culture but in many ways defines it."
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