Recently, a gold plated Leica Camera fetched an amazing $683,000 at an auction in Vienna, Austria. The camera in question is a rare collectible whose history goes back to 1931. Since then, it has passed on to three generations of Kalr Henkell’s family. Mr. Henkell, the renowned producer of sparkling wines was the last owner and got more than three and a half times the price of the estimate. This ‘Luxus’ Leica covered in gold and red lizard leather, giving it an exquisite antique and regal look. It also has an additional two gold plated lenses.
Leica Camera actually started off as Ernst Leitz GmbH way back in 1913. That is the name you see on top of the camera. And Wetzlar is the German city where it was manufactured. This company then fragmented into three companies, one of them being Leica Camera AG. The other two are Leica Microsystems GmbH and Leica Geosystems AG, which manufacture microscopes and geosurvey equipment respectively. Leica still remains a big name in the world of cameras. But is a lot more expensive than your Nikons and Canons and is usually purchased by the more nuanced photographers and ofcourse those with bigger pockets.
This particular camera also contains several iconic photos including one of an American sailor kissing a nurse after the end of WWII. There were other Leica cameras at this auction held by the auction house, WestLicht. All of them fetched handsome prices. There was another auction of vintage Leica cameras that was also conducted by WestLicht. That one had an even older Leica camera from 1923. But an even more interesting Leica piece was the Leica Telephoto Assembly Rifle. The combination sounds bizarre but it was literally a Leica camera mounted on a rifle. The camera was built around WWII and allowed wildlife photographers to take amazing pictures of their expeditions. It allowed you to shoot while you shoot.