Yul Brynner’s personal Leica cameras sold for over $3 million at an auction
In a recent auction held in Vienna, Austria, two Leica MP cameras owned by legendary actor Yul Brynner sold for over €2.76 million (around $3.03 million). Brynner personally used both of them, and they’re considered to be among the rarest and most sought-after Leica cameras in existence.
About the cameras
Both cameras are black paint models from the 1950s, Leica MP-59 and MP-60. Leitz estimated them to sell for up to €700,000 each, but they exceeded expectations. The Leica MP no. 59 sold for €1,440,000 ($1.58 million), while the Leica MP no. 60 sold for €1,320,000 ($1.44 million). According to Leitz, both cameras show patina and signs of use. But they’re both in working condition! And other than the camera, the lucky buyers also get the matching Leicavit MP finders and lenses.
“These Leica MP cameras, totaling only 141 in production, were symbolic of Brynner’s commitment to the art of photography,” Leitz writes. “However, it was his extensive body of work, consisting of thousands of photographs, that truly exemplified his photographic prowess.”
“Brynner’s photographs tell stories, capturing moments in time with the same dedication and precision he brought to the stage and screen, leaving an enduring legacy in both the worlds of cinema and photography.”
About Yul Brynner
Yul Brynner was born Yuliy Borisovich Bryner in Vladivostok, Russia, on July 11, 1920. As a child, he moved with his family to Paris, where he later studied acting at the Paris Conservatory. He began his career as a trapeze artist in the Cirque d’hiver in Paris.
In 1940, Brynner moved to the United States and began appearing in Broadway productions. His breakthrough came in 1951 when he was cast in the title role of The King and I. He played the role over 4,000 times on Broadway and in the film adaptation. He also starred in several other successful films, including The Ten Commandments, Westworld, and The Magnificent Seven.
Brynner was known as a charismatic and commanding actor with a powerful voice. He was also known for his distinctive bald head, which he shaved for the role of King Mongkut. In addition to his acting career, Brynner was also a director, a singer, a model, and a photographer. He was a truly passionate and versatile artist, constantly exploring new creative outlets. Brynner died in 1985 at the age of 65.
“I understand that Brynner had a unique gift as a photographer for helping his subjects to relax, and the evidence is here, particularly in the images of Deborah Kerr on the set of ‘The King And I’ and of Ingrid Bergmann during the shooting of ‘Anastasia’. You can also see it in the photos of the extras and the technicians: everyone and everything seems to have been observed from a becalmed distance.”Martin Scorsese
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.