Sold!: Signed print of Eisenstaedt’s “Kiss in Times Square” and Leica that shot it fetch big bucks at auction


posted Monday, May 27, 2013 at 12:19 PM EDT


It's a photo that came to symbolize the end of World War II and one that's particularly poignant for those remembering fallen soldiers as part of Memorial Day ceremonies today. Known as "Kiss in Times Square," a signed print of Alfred Eisenstaedt's iconic 1945 V-J Day celebration shot and the Leica camera that captured it both sold at auction on Friday for a combined total of nearly $180,000.

The signed Eisenstaedt print fetched 24,000 Euros (~US$31,000) while Eisenstaedt's camera, a Leica IIIa rangefinder, sold for 114,000 Euros (~US$147,400) at the 23rd WestLicht Photographica Auction in Vienna, Austria on May 24th.

Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt. (Courtesy of WestLicht Photographica Camera Auction)

Eisenstaedt continued to use the same Leica IIIa for 50 years after he captured his famous Times Square photo, including a final portrait session with President Bill Clinton and his family, two years before the photographer died.


Eisenstaedt's camera, however wasn't the biggest sale of the WestLicht auction. That "honor" goes to an original Leitz gold-plated Leica "Luxus" camera covered in brown lizard leather with two gold-plated lenses, which sold for 528,000 Euros (~US$682,366). The second most expensive sale was a Leica M3 prototype, which went for 432,000 Euros (~US$558,302). Meanwhile, a prototype Noctilux 1.2/50mm chrome lens sold for 144,000 Euros (~US$186,100).

See a screenshot of the some of the most expensive cameras from WestLicht below. Here's the full rundown if you feel like experiencing a serious case of camera envy.

(WestLicht results via Leica Rumors)