Culture

Leica Family Tree Featuring 107 Historic Cameras Up For Sale

An impressive slice of Leica history featuring 107 cameras from the company’s 100 year legacy arranged as a family tree is now up for sale.

The impressive piece of working art initially adorned the entry hall of Leica’s headquarters in Solms, Germany. But when the company moved back to Wetzlar in 2013, the cameras were separated from the stammbaum (family tree) frame in favour of being arranged traditionally at the Leica Museum. The stammbaum was later acquired by a Leica Store in Manchester, UK and repopulated by its owners.

The custom-built display unit was constructed to highlight the prestige of Leica from 1923-2006 and stands roughly 10 feet tall. Each branch showcases a line of models from the screw-fit Leica series, M-series, R-series, to the digital cameras used in more recent times.

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Leica were certainly onto something when they created the stammbaum as the company’s lineage would certainly be difficult to track without it; a shame that it is no longer supported by Leica.

But as the adage goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure because the stammbaum and all 107 cameras are to be auctioned off by Christie’s in London next month. The Leica family tree will headline the Out of the Ordinary auction and is expected to fetch between US$456,400 (£350,000) and US$586,800 (£450,000) – a better deal for overseas bidders considering the post-Brexit economy.