1931 Gold-Plated Leica Luxus Camera Auctioned for $683,000 -Gear, Photography
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1931 Gold-Plated Leica Luxus Camera Auctioned for $683,000

Karl Henkell's gold-plated ‘Luxus’ Leica camera from 1931

Karl Henkell’s gold-plated ‘Luxus’ Leica camera from 1931

A rare gold-plated Luxus Leica camera from 1931 with lizard leather covering and two lenses was recently auctioned for the amount of $683.000 at an auction house in Vienna, Austria.


The former owner of the antique camera was none other than German sparkling wine maker Karl Henkell who was probably surprised when his camera brought in more than three and a half times the estimated price.

From Westlicht Auction:
Leica III Mod. F LUXUS ‘Karl Henkell’ Unique outfit of original Leitz gold plated ‘Luxus’ camera with brown lizard leather covering and 2 gold plated lenses (Summar 2/5cm no.190131, Elmar 3.5/3.5cm no.182545). History of this outfit: It comes from the estate of the famous German sparkling producer Karl Henkell (Henkell Trocken) who used the camera until 1944, then it went to his son Otto Henkell who passed it on to his eldest son and present owner Hans Henkell. The camera is well documented in the Leitz archive. It was originally delivered on February 11th, 1931 to Besier Wiesbaden as a Luxus (vergoldet) Ic non standard outfit with 4 lenses, it came back to Leitz on April 30th, 1931 for repair and was converted in Leica II Luxus on May 2nd, 1932, on December 21st, 1933 it was updated in Leica III Luxus. A copy of a photograph showing Karl Henkell in October 1933 with his (still) Leica II Luxus is included. The Summar 2/5cm no.190131 was delivered on December 28th, 1933 to Foto Tauber, Wiesbaden as gold plated (vergoldet) Sumuskup, the date is very close to the last conversion into Leica III, so we believe that the camera and the Summar were delivered together on December 28th, 1933. The Elmar 3.5cm was delivered as a sample lens to a Leitz representative (Barsing, Reise) in 1934 and went back to the factory in January 1938. It was subsequently gold-plated for Karl Henkell.

 

Karl Henkell's gold-plated ‘Luxus’ Leica camera from 1931

Karl Henkell’s gold-plated ‘Luxus’ Leica camera from 1931

Karl Henkell's gold-plated ‘Luxus’ Leica camera from 1931

Karl Henkell’s gold-plated ‘Luxus’ Leica camera from 1931