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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The World's Most Expensive Camera... No It's Not A Leica

Saturday 29 May 2101, WestLicht Photographica Auction auctioned one of the first Daguerreotype cameras ever produced. The wooden sliding-box camera was made in Paris in September 1839 by Alphonse Giroux, a few weeks after the first public announcement of photography.

It was discovered recently after having spent decades in private ownership in northern Germany. 'The outstanding original condition of the 170-year-old apparatus is remarkable,' said the auction house, which believed the device would fetch in excess of its previous record of €576,000.

However, the final bid went beyond WestLicht's expectations. The camera sold for €732,000 ($1,044,096.70 U.S. dollars), making it the most expensive camera in the world. "The duel of bidders in the auction room ended after twenty minutes with a record telephone bid," says the auction house. "With a starting price of €200,000, the wood-built sliding-box camera changed owners for €732,000 and thus became not only the oldest but also the most expensive camera in the world. With that WestLicht has broken its own record of €576,000, which was set in 2007. No less spectacular is the price achieved by the mercury box that goes with the Daguerreotype – the extremely rare accessory was sold for €144,600."

Taking part in the auction were numerous collectors, dealers, and institutions from all over the world, including bidders from Korea, Japan, the USA, and France.

(via British Journal of Photography)

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