E. Leitz New York Leica Gun RIFLE *


Hammer Price
incl. Buyer's Premium

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Product number: A00772
Starting Price €120,000
Estimate €240,000 – 300,000
serial number : 119
Condition : A/B
Manufacture Year : 1938
E. Leitz New York Leica Gun RIFLE *

The E. Leitz NY RIFLE is one of the rarest and most unusual Leica accessories. The offered outfit is in excellent, original condition. It features a unique rifle stock designed to reduce camera shake when using telephoto lenses, a special viewfinder engraved with serial number 119 (refer to Lager VOL.III for no.116) and 'E.LEITZ INC. NEW-YORK', a modified PLOOT mirror housing no.1933, a modified Leica IIIb no.283941 (1938, modification for the RIFLE later), and a Telyt 5/40cm no.332012. This uncommon lens is in excellent condition with a hood and was delivered to New York on May 28, 1938, to Anton Baumann, a Leitz employee and photographer on temporary duty in New York. The outfit includes a beautiful, custom-made carrying case (also in excellent condition, though a few stitches need repair) designed for the entire ensemble. This special outfit has remained in one family's ownership since the late 1930s (a letter of provenance is included) and is appearing on the market for the first time.

E. Leitz, Inc. New York launched the Leica Gun Rifle in 1938, using the codeword “Rifle”; it was produced for only one year (1938 to 1939). The “Rifle,” inspired by Commander Attilio Gatti, the well-known wildlife photographer in Africa, was developed between 1935 and 1937 by E. Leitz, Inc. New York before being introduced to the public in July 1938. Various authors have different estimates about the actual numbers of “Rifles” produced: while P. H. van Hasbroeck assumes that only six units were produced, J. L. Lager concludes that a dozen were made overall. We consider a number of 12-14 'Rifles', now spread out over collections worldwide, to be appropriate and realistic. The offered example is one of the best we have seen!