24 Oct 2018
The 33rd WestLicht Camera Auction on 24 November 2018

On 24 November 2018, the latest auction at the WestLicht Photographica Auction rooms in Vienna will again be offering numerous rarities from the worlds of Leitz / Leica. Among the highlights of the more than 500 lots, bidders will find the Leica M2 used by the famous US combat photographer Sean Flynn, son of the Hollywood legend Errol Flynn. The camera accompanied him not only on his assignments in the Vietnam war, but also in the civil war in neighbouring Cambodia, the Six Days War in Israel and on his travels throughout Indonesia or Europe.

It is well known that photos tell exciting stories, but some cameras also have thrilling tales to tell. Like Sean Flynn’s Leica M2. On 6 April 1970, Flynn and his colleague Dana Stone were captured by Vietcong soldiers as they rode on motorbikes on the way from Phnom Penh to a press conference in Saigon. Both of them were never heard of again. On that fateful day, Flynn was carrying a Nikon, and his Leica was left back at home. With a patina and signs of wear that retell the adventures of a courageous photojournalist – and still in perfect working order – his M2 (estimated hammer price 60,000-80,000 euros) bears unique witness to the photographer’s life. To get himself as close to the action as possible, Flynn even parachuted into battle zones or marched to the front with specialised units. He even made his own carrying strap from a length of parachute cord and the ring from the firing pin of a hand grenade. The camera will be auctioned together with 34 prints of his Vietnam photos and four prints from Tim Page, including one showing Flynn with his Leica M2.

The Leica M-P black paint ‘Gérard Bois’ (estimated hammer price 160,000-200,000 euros) also saw historic moments. The camera and its rare black paint Summicron 5 cm f/2 lens with the number 1468967 were delivered to New York in 1957 and were owned and used by French photographer Gérard Bois, who died at the age of 74 in May of this year. As Gérard-Aimé, he was best known for his photographs of May 1968 in Paris. Only 141 examples of the legendary black paint MP were built. As these were sold predominantly to professional photographers, the camera is a much sought after rarity.

The M-P (10772) numbered 5000001 is a highlight from the more recent years of the company’s history. The Leica M Typ 240, first presented in 2012, marks an important milestone in the history of Leica. Two years later saw the development of a new version of the digital Leica M-P on the basis of this camera type, an occasion that was honoured with a special serial number. The M-P (10772) with the number 5000000 can be seen in the showroom of the Leica Museum in Wetzlar, and now, number 5000001 is waiting to find a place in someone’s collection at the Westlicht Camera Auction (estimated hammer price 20,000-24,000 euros).

Alongside the Leica products, the auction will also be taking bids for numerous attractive collectables and rarities from other manufacturers . One of these represents a premiere for Kodak. This is the very first time a Kodak Ektra II prototype has ever appeared at an auction. The Ektra II never went into production. Only a few prototypes were made, of which the cameras with the serial numbers 7020, 7021 and 7032, the camera being offered here, are known to exist (estimated hammer price 40,000 -50,000 euros).

Bids for lots at the 33rd WestLicht Camera Auction on 24 November 2018 can be placed online (www.westlicht-auction.com), in written form or on the phone, live from around the world at www.liveauctioneers.com or in person in the WestLicht auction rooms at Westbahnstrasse 40, 1070 Vienna, Austria.

related news
26 Jul 2020
LEICA M10-R, Redefining image quality.
7 Nov 2019
Leica SL2, Successor to the Trailblazing Leica SL
30 May 2019
Built to travel: Leica M Monochrom ‘Drifter’, a limited special edition by Kravitz Design.