An extremely rare and very early double-stroke, black paint Leica M3 will go under the hammer in a sale of Photographica by Chiswick Auctions on Thursday 14th November, 2019.
This camera was delivered to the Magnum Photo Agency in Paris in 1958. Factory records show only 90 of these pre-series cameras were sent before the first official batch of black M3 rangefinders in 1959. It’s not known how many others are still in existence.
The majority were delivered to Sweden along with individual deliveries to Paris, New York and Germany. The serial number records it as the 15th black paint M3 camera to have been produced, and the second earliest example to be offered at auction. (The earliest example, the second of the batch, sold in 2014 for £320,000 in Hong Kong). This model has a conservative estimate of £60,000-£80,000, but, due to its popularity and rarity, it is expected to achieve much more.