It looks like Leica cameras are expensive even when they’re completely unusable. A fire-damaged, broken Leica M4 was recently sold at an auction for £1,200 (~$1,700). With premiums and taxes, it reached the final price of £1,488, which is around $2,100.
Kosmofoto discovered this interesting listing in a Facebook group Vintage Camera Collectors. The auction house Flints described the camera as “chargrilled” in the listing, but there is not much info on how it got in such bad condition overall. It was auctioned with a Leitz Summicron 50mm F2 lens, in the same poor condition as the camera itself. Photographer Jonathan Bloom owned the camera before it got on the auction, and he told members of the Facebook group that it got damaged in a house fire.
“I owned this actual camera. years ago. Bought it at a camera show. Sold it to a collector. Wound up in an auction. Now it’s here. so random. FYI; I paid $900 for it at the time. Maybe too much. Maybe too little. I thought of it as pared down to the basics of design. An object, perfect in its form. Stripped of its utility but perfect in its design. That is what’s cool about this. Anyone who bemoans the broken camera is full of s–t.”
The heavily damaged, burnt, and inoperable Leica M4 found its new owner only because it’s a collector’s item. The price that it reached proves that it’s not just photos that can be a work of art – the camera used to take them can be an art piece, too. After all, this one is unlikely to take photos ever again, so now it’s an art piece on its own. And probably quite a conversation starter, too.
[via Leica Rumors]