A Leica camera that looks and shoots like a rifle is the star of the lastest Leitz Photographica Auction. The 37th auction from the Leica specialist auction house will be held in Vienna on 21 November – but will attract bids and interest online from all over the world
Known as the Leica Rifle, the modified Leica IIIa has a Telyt 200mm f/4.5 telephoto lens – and is said to be one of the rarest and most unusual Leica accessories in excellent, original condition.
The company E. Leitz, Inc. New York launched the Leica Gun Rifle in 1938 using the codeword “Rifle”; it was only produced for one year. The “Rifle” was inspired by Commander Attilio Gatti, the well-known wildlife photographer in Africa and was developed between 1935 and 1937 before being introduced to the public in July 1938.
There is debate about how many Rifles were actually ever produced - but the auctioneers calculate that between 12-14 'Rifles' are in collections worldwide today.
The estimate for the Leica Rifle €200,000 – 250,000 ($236,000 - $295,000). You can make your bid at www.leitz-auction.com (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
Another highlight of the upcoming auction is the Voigtländer Daguerreotype camera dating from 1840. It's historical significance derives from its fast cannon-shaped f/3.7 Petzval lens which was 15 times faster than the lenses that Louis Daguerre used in his pioneering cameras that first introduced photography to the world. The estimate is €200,000 – 300,000 ($236,000 - $354,000)(opens in new tab)
One of only three existing Vario-Elmar-M lenses is also being auctioned. The Vario-Elmar-M 28-75mm f/ 3.5-5.6 ASPH (estimated price: $70,000 – 95,000) was developed in Germany and designed as a universal lens that replaces the Tri-Elmar 28-35-50. The project was discontinued in 2015 due to the complexity of the mechanical and visual design. Only three lenses were completed.(opens in new tab)
If you want something more modern, then you could also bid for the a Leica M-P "Grip" created in collaboration with Swiss artist Rolf Sachs – which includes a signed print by the artist. Only 79 of these were ever produced.