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WestLicht photo and camera auction

10 & 11 June, 2016


Great names before and behind the camera, historical treasures, landmark events of 20th-century history which have long become icons of photographic history, modernist photo classics and sought-after photo books! 15 years ago, WestLicht first opened its doors. This will be celebrated with the 211 lots of the first Photo Auction of the anniversary year, offering a fascinating, unique panorama of photographic history from the medium’s earliest days to the present.

Magnum legends are traditionally represented in the WestLicht auctions with top lots. In Last Days of the Kuomintang, Shanghai, December 1948 – January 1949, Henri Cartier-Bresson succeeded in securing one of the most impressive visual documents of China’s takeover by the Communists (lot 92, estimate: € 12,000 – 14,000).  While Philip Jones Griffiths accompanied GIs fighting in the Vietnam War, Hiroji Kubota was documenting the protests against it in Washington (lot 115, 2,000 – 2,400 Euro). Elliott Erwitt contributed the famous “umbrella jumper” in front of the Eiffel Tower in 1989 (lot 110, estimate: € 8,000 – € 10,000); Martin Parr is represented by The Last Resort (New Brighton, Merseyside) dated 1983–1986(lot 193, estimate: € 4,000 – 5,000). 

Preview exhibition: May 30 to June 10, 2016 (open daily from 2 to 6 pm and by appointment at +43 (0)1 523 56 59)


Once again, WestLicht Auction in Vienna offers numerous rarities of the Leitz/Leica brands at its upcoming camera auction, starting at 11 am on June 11, 2016. Among the highlights of the auction lots are the Leica M3 with the serial number 700004, built in 1954. The camera, still in its original condition, is the 4th M camera produced in series; after the M3 No. 700001, previously auctioned by WestLicht for € 900,000, it is the earliest M3 known to exist. This recently-discovered camera is estimated to fetch € 50,000 to € 60,000.

Among the many other highlights of the approximately 600 auction lots are a very early Leica I with an Elmax lens (estimated value € 10,000 - € 12,000), a black-varnish Leica IIIf manufactured as part of a very small series for the Swedish Army in 1956 (estimated value € 40,000 - € 50,000). A highly sought-after collectors’ item is the half-format Leica built for 72 exposures in Wetzlar – only 30 of these cameras left the factory, and the last of them to be delivered comes to auction with an estimated value of € 30,000 to € 35,000.

Preview: June 8 to June 11, 2016 (10 am to 6 pm and by appointment at +43 (0)1 523 56 59)

Auction catalogues can be ordered here. The online catalogues offer a wealth of detailed information and images of individual lots.

Bids may be submitted online at www.westlicht-auction.com, in writing, by phone, by fax, live worldwide at www.liveautioneers.com or personally at WestLicht auction hall on Westbahnstrasse 40, 1070 Vienna, Austria.

WestLicht camera auction