Leica I camera – £36,500 at Lawrences of Bletchingley.

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The brainchild of Leitz director of research Oskar Barnack (1879-1936), he had begun work on adapting 35mm cinematic film for a still camera a decade earlier.

The first prototypes issued in the early 1920s are the most expensive of all vintage cameras but any early Leica I is a trophy collectable.

The example pictured here, offered by Lawrences (20% buyer’s premium) of Bletchingley in Surrey on June 7, crucially carries the serial number 225 that dates it to the second batch of production towards the end of 1925.

Offered together with numerous online photos showing its honest and seemingly working condition and the survival of its original brown leather case, it was guided at a modest £500-700, but raced away to bring £36,500.