Leica – Icons of Photography

Abbeys Auctions are pleased to present a wonderful collection of Cameras, online now for viewing and bidding.

The highly collectable 1940s Leica D.R.P. Ernst Leitz Wetzlat camera (Lot 396)

Shooting with a Leica is like a long tender kiss, like firing an automatic pistol, like an hour on the analyst’s couch.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson.

The camera that captured some of the most memorable images of the 20th century, in the hands of history’s most notable icons, Leica, – the camera that stopped time. No other camera could match its resume, notoriety, or name.  

This month’s Abbeys Collectables and Classics Auction will feature a large collection of exciting cameras, including the famous Leica brand (lots 396 – 435). With famous users such as Alexander Rodchenko, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and even the late Queen Elizabeth II, Leica has been a favourite of many since its founding in 1869 by Ernst Leitz. Pioneering the first practical 35mm camera in 1913, Leica provided the scope for artistic freedom and convenience craved by photographers and amateurs alike. Versatile enough to capture a wide range of subjects, from landscapes to portraits, the brand quickly became a benchmark of quality and is still highly loved and collected to this day, with some models selling in the millions.

Every Leica part is precision-engineered before being assembled by hand by skilled craftsmen, achieving a quality unmatched in the world of photography and optics. One camera can sometimes take days to assemble, with each model only made in limited numbers a year. This level of sophistication has allowed many photographers to capture some of the most iconic photos in history.   Some of the 20th century’s most important artistic and journalistic moments were captured by Leica, from Napalm Girl shot on a Leica M2 to V-J Day in Time Square shot with a Leica IIIa.

The famous Behind The Gate Saint-Lazare photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson was made possible by his portable Leica. Considered one of the 100 most influential photos of all time and capturing what has now become known as the “decisive moment”, only the Leica had the quality to capture a moving image with such a rich atmosphere, colour tone, and depth. This rich quality was later exploited by Rodchenko for his pioneering and dynamic portraiture and landscapes of the 30s and 40s.

With lots ranging from a highly collectable 1940s Leica D.R.P. Ernst Leitz Wetzlat camera (lot 396 pictured above), zoom lenses, and negative enlarging equipment to more contemporary pieces such as the 2000s Leica C11 with original box (lot 403), camera enthusiasts will find a treasure trove of camera items for auction. Other collectable camera brands for auction include Nikon, Soviet ZOMZ Tair-3, Kodak, Olympus, and Polaroid.

Collectables and Classics will be held online on the 21st of October commencing at 10 a.m.

Do you have cameras to sell? Check out further information about Cameras and Photographic Equipment or contact us on 03 9898 2118 to discuss your options.