A rare Leica camera that predated the first mass-produced 35mm stills camera in 1925, sold for more than u00a31.7m on Saturday. However, the identity of the buyer is to remain under wraps, according to auctioneers who say they have requested anonymity.

The Leica

O-Series model – one of just over 20 ever made – became the most expensive

camera in the world when it sold for €2,160,000 at the Westlicht auction in

Vienna, Austria,

‘In an

exciting bidding war between the room, phone and internet bidders, the price of

the camera climbed to a new world record,’ said a spokesman for the auction.

The bidding

started at €300,000, but the camera ended up fetching more than seven times

that figure.

Last year,

another in the ‘O’ series went under the hammer for around £1.15m. It was bought by someone in the ‘Far East’.

The Leica

O-series cameras preceded the production-line Leica 1 models that launched the

35mm film format for still photography.

They were

developed as a second stage – after the first concept, the Ur Leica – to test the

market for such cameras.

Only around

20 were made in 1923-24.