Leica camera auctioned in Austria for record $2.8 million

VIENNA Sun May 13, 2012 8:09am EDT

VIENNA (Reuters) - A rare 1923 Leica went for 2.16 million euros ($2.8 million) at an auction in Vienna at the weekend, making it the most expensive camera ever sold, the auctioneer said.

An anonymous buyer won the bidding battle for the German camera, which still works and is one of around 25 test versions of Leica 0-Series cameras produced in 1923, two years before the start of serial production. Only half of them have been preserved.

Including the buyer's premium, the price paid at the WestLicht auction on Saturday was more than seven times the starting price of 300,000 euros, WestLicht said.

It did not identify the previous owner, who it said was a private collector in Europe.

A different Leica 0-series sold in November 2007 for 336,000 euros at auction, and then again in May 2011 for 1.32 million euros including the buyer's premium, WestLicht said.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo)

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