Every Leica camera is a special camera, but this one has an extra degree of ‘special’ due to its unique history. It was personally owned by famous photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, who used it for most of his brilliant career, including for his most iconic photograph known as V-J Day in Times Square, or The Kiss.
The artist managed to capture only four shots of the special moment which lasted for only a few seconds. This photograph made it into an August 1945 issue of Life magazine together with other pictures of people celebrating America’s victory over Japan. Eisenstaedt continued to use this camera for the following years, until two years before his demise (at 96), when he made his last shooting with President Clinton and his family.
The camera will be offered at auction in Vienna, at the WestLicht Photographica Auction on May 25. It will be accompanied by a legal notarized transfer document that attests the fact that it belonged to the renowned photographer.
The winning bidder will also receive the original VIOOH finder no. 60637 and later Summitar 2/5cm no. 658134, as well as the copy of a 1945 print by Bill Shrout of Life magazine, which shows Alfred Eisenstaedtwith his Leica right before he captured the historic moment when the happy American sailor kissed the young lady. Presale estimates puts the lot in the €20,000-€25,000 ($26,000-$32,500) area.