Leitz Photographica Auction
Westbahnstrasse 40
A-1070 Vienna
T +43 1 523 56 59 - 18
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41. Leitz Photographica Auktion

"Soulful insights" and "radical imagery":
Leitz Photographica Auction returns to photography

A relaxed lunch break against the backdrop of the burning Twin Towers; a flock of exuberantly dancing student priests in the snow; a clown of small stature taking a cigarette break behind the circus tent – these are some impressions of the outstanding photographs that will be on offer at Leitz Photographica Auction 41. For the first time in three years, the auction series traditionally devoted to the world of vintage cameras will once again feature rare photography prints. The auction will be held in Vienna on 26 November 2022.

Vienna, Oct. 2022. Twice a year, the world's largest auction of historic cameras and camera accessories attracts bidders from all around the globe. After three years devoted exclusively to rare prototypes and vintage equipment – including a near 100-year old Leica prototype which sold for a record-breaking 14.4 million euros in June – Leitz Photographica Auction’s lots will once again include photographs. The event will take place at Hotel Bristol in Vienna on 26 November, starting at 10 a.m (CET).

"The history of photography includes a great diversity of images, many of which are sources of inspiration for enthusiasts of photography around the world and, in printed form, coveted collector’s items as well. We strive to share this fascination with connoisseurs and collectors, seasoned and aspiring alike. From now on, our auctions will cover the entire thematic spectrum of photography," says Alexander Sedlak, managing director of the auction house.

Being the official auction house of German Leica Camera AG, returning to this holistic approach is of particular interest to its organizers. "Like no other camera, Leica has revolutionized photographic history in technical, aesthetic and cultural respects. From now on, our photography auctions will fully encompass this dense and multifaceted history of art and culture – stretching from the 1920s to today – with an exciting selection of lots," says Anna Zimm of Leica Camera Classics, responsible for picking the lots along with her colleague, Caroline Guschelbauer, and independent expert Johannes Faber. The selection is manifold, as Leitz Photographica Auction is not limited to Leica cameras, nor to photographs taken with Leica cameras.

„Shadow and Light“

Leitz Photographica Auction 41 will consist of two parts, the first being “Shadow and Light”. The segment features exactly 100 photograhpy prints. Among its highlights are pieces by Vivian Maier, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Bruce Davidson and late photographer, Hollywood actor and director Dennis Hopper. Some of the photographs are awe-inspiring, stylistically remarkable pieces of visual poetry – such as Mario Giaocomelli's "Lo non ho mani che mi accarezzino il volto" ("There are no hands to caress my face"), a light-footed yet also other-worldly snapshot from the lives of young clergymen. Others are provocative, contemporary witnesses, revealing new perspectives on key moments in collective memory, such as Thomas Hoepker's "9/11, New York City". The photograph captured a group of young people enjoying the midday sun on the East River while the World Trade Center is in flames on the other side of the river.
"My personal highlight is a Cibachrome print by Nan Goldin", explains Anna Zimm. "In her work, Goldin always acts on a very personal maxim. She only approaches people with her camera who are already close to her. It’s something you can see in every photgraph, and that's why I'm very touched by them. Goldin sees photography as a visual diary, and, personally, I find this approach very appealing. A voyeuristic, predatory view is far from Goldin's mind, because she doesn't have to conquer the intimate areas of others – she is already part of them. There's something immediate and unembellished about this subjective form of photography, which is why it appeals to me so much."

Caroline Guschelbauer names Williams Klein's "Bikini Moscow" as a favorite photograph among the lots. "The recently deceased photographer dedicated portraits to several cities in the 1950s, including New York and Rome. Even then, William Klein developed an aesthetic that broke with conventional, more discrete street photography, influencing subsequent generations of photographers. With his radical imagery, directness and spontaneity, he completely rediscovered the world of photography and set new standards."

The 100 photographs to be auctioned on November 26 will include the charity lot of Leitz Photographica Auction 41: A series of three pictures of Marilyn Monroe posing in the sand of Tobey Beach (Long Island), photographed by André de Dienes in 1949. The entire proceeds go to the Austrian charity organization "Licht ins Dunkel".

Two prototypes in the six-figure range
"Shadow and Light" will last just under an hour, after which Leitz Photographica Auction will proceed to its lot of vintage cameras and accessories in the usual manner. Among other objects, lovers of historical cameras can look forward to a rare prototype (no. 0037) of the Leica M3, the camera model that contributed decisively to the cult status of the Leica brand. Manufactured in 1952, the prototype is estimated to sell for between 300,000 and 350,000 euros at auction.

The secret star of Leitz Photographica Auction 41 is not a camera, however, but a lens. The Noctilux 1.2/50mm was the world's first serial production 35mm lens containing aspherical elements. The auction offers the original chrome prototype of the Noctilux f/1.2 from 1964, estimated at 400,000 to 500,000 euros.

Leitz Photographica Auction will start on 26 November 2022 at 10 a.m. at Hotel Bristol in Vienna. Bids can be submitted in wiriting, by telephone or online ( in advance. Live bidding during the auction is possible at and
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About Leica Camera Classics:
The German Leica Camera AG has two branches in Vienna: Leica Camera Austria and Leica Camera Classics. The latter specializes in vintage cameras and has approximately 1,500 devices on display in its store at Westbahnstraße 40. The location also houses the largest spare parts warehouse for historic Leica cameras in the world. Because of this unique inventory, on-site technicians can inspect historic Leica cameras to the highest collector standards and restore them as needed before they are auctioned.
Twice a year – in mid-June and late November – Leica Camera Classics organizes the Leitz Photographica Auction, the world's most important auction of vintage cameras, attracting bidders from over 100 countries. In addition, around 5,000 products are permanently offered in the LCC online store.

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