When you hear the phrase “most expensive camera in the world,” you probably imagine a super high-tech digital camera—maybe one used by NASA to take pictures of Mars or the moon or some cool camera capable of going underwater to extreme depths.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
The first cameras used the daguerreotype process, pioneered by Jacques Mande Daguerre, to form images. A daguerreotype image is achieved by producing a direct image onto a polished silver surface. Unfortunately, a daguerreotypist couldn’t produce copies by means other than daguerreotyping the original and the process was obsolete within a decade.
1839 Susse Freres daguerreotype camera
In May 2007, a daguerreotype camera dating back to 1839 became the world’s most expensive camera when it sold at auction for â‚¬576,000—about US $775,000 at the time. The camera, designed by Frenchman Susse Freres, was housed in a sliding wooden box frame and was also believed to be the oldest commercially manufactured camera in the world, heightening its appeal to collectors.
In May 2010, another daguerreotype camera will go under the hammer and possibly become the most expensive camera in the world. Undocumented since 1839, this camera was built by Alphonse Giroux, brother-in-law to Daguerre, which may make it the oldest camera ever built. It was even signed by Dagguere, which can only increase its value to enthusiasts.
1839 Alphonse Giroux daguerreotype camera
The Camera will be on sale at the WestLicht Auction in Vienna—the same auction that sold the Susse Freres daguerreotype in 2007—where bidding will open at â‚¬200,000. It is expected to fetch between â‚¬500,000 and â‚¬700,000—that’s upwards of US $978,000.
Via LuxuryLaunches \ BornRich