Internet Camera Auction Brings Record Prices

The third sale of cameras from the collection of the late James A. Collins, Jr. brought a total of $708,000 and record prices for a number of rare items. "The star of the auction was an extremely rare Leica MP-2 camera with motor and two battery packs," says Chris Everard, one of the principals of Everard and Company. "Only 27 cameras and 15 motors are known to have been produced. Something like this comes up once in a collector's lifetime, and it set an Internet auction record of $86,250."

Other rare items included a Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 chrome prototype lens ($30,538) and a Leica Summaron Compur 35mm f/3.5 chrome lens, the only one known to exist ($25,555). The auction also featured items designed for the U.S. government, including an Elcan 90mm f/1 black lens for electro-optical night photography ($24,725), an early evaluation of a Leica Underwater Housing ($9,000), and a Leica Elmar Stereo 3.5cm f/3.5 chrome lens, a World War II production lens with fewer than 50 deliveries to Berlin ($11,600).

Also sold were two lots of special Leica If Swedish Crown marine reconnaissance outfits with consecutive serial numbers, designed for the Swedish military.