World’s Most Expensive Camera

On May 29th, the first commercially produced camera came under the hammer at a sale in the Viennese auction house WestLicht. The attic find of the 1839 camera created a great deal of pre-auction excitement in camera lover circles. Only a few examples of the Daguerreotype Giroux offered by WestLicht are know to exist and those are in public museums and collections. A camera of this type has never been offered at a public auction before.

The duel of bidders in the auction room ended after twenty minutes with a record telephone bid. With a starting price of 200,000 Euros, the wood-built sliding-box camera changed owners for 732,000 Euros and thus became not only the oldest but also the most expensive camera in the world. With that WestLicht has broken its own record of 576,000 Euros, which was set in 2007. No less spectacular is the price achieved by the mercury box that goes with the Daguerreotype – the extremely rare accessory was sold for 144,600 Euros.

Taking part in the auction were numerous collectors, dealers, and institutions from all over the world, including bidders from Korea, Japan, the USA, and France.