The 2020 Leitz Photographica Auction is on and this time they are auctioning a few rare oddities at typically eye watering prices. While star of the auction is the Voigtländer Daguerreotype camera introduced to the world in 1840 by Peter Wilhelm Friedrich Voigtländer, the Leica Gun Rifle piques my curiosity.
The Leica Gun Rifle was released in 1938 by E. Leitz, Inc. New York and only available for one year between 1938 and 1939. Inspired by well-known wildlife photographer in Africa, Commander Attilio Gatti, this particular Rifle also includes the extremely rare carrying case RIFUN.
It’s unclear how many Rifles are in existence with conflicting reports from six units, to a dozen, to around 14.
The auction price is estimated at €200,000 – 250,000 (AUD $328,228 – $410,285) with a starting price of €100.000.
Savvy buyers will probably want the Doryu 1 pistol camera also at the auction estimated at €60,000 – 70,000 (AUD $98,468 – $114,879)
The Voigtländer Daguerreotype camera is just as odd as the Leica Gun Rifle given the way cameras are constructed and cased today. At the time, the fast f:3.7 Petzval lens was 15 times faster than the lenses Daguerre, one of the early pioneers of photography used in his constructions.
But it’s the canon shaped body which today, draws the most attention. Leitz Auction explain the process:
“The focusing screen is positioned at the widest part of the camera, and there is a magnifier in the shorter of the two cones to aid focusing. Once the picture was sharp, the photographer had to go into the darkroom and swap the focusing screen for a daguerreotype plate.”
This particular example is unrestored. Only 600 were reportedly built back in the day and it’s beloved only 10 remain in existence today.
The auction price is estimated at €200,000 – 300,000 (AUD $328,228 – $492,342) with a starting price of €100,000 (AUD $164,114).
The auction is due to be held on November 21, 2020 in Vienna. Visit Leitz Photographica Auction for the full catalogue.