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An 1839 camera that was found in an attic ? and billed as the ?world?s oldest? ? has sold for nearly £400,000, shattering auctioneers? predictions.
Made by Paris manufacturer Susse Frères, ‘Le Daguerreotype’ raised four times its minimum pre-sale estimate, bowing out for the sterling equivalent of around £390,000 at the Westlicht Photographic Auction in Vienna, Austria.
The wooden sliding box model is believed to be the ?oldest commercially produced camera in the world?.
?The Susse Frères is now not only the oldest but also the most expensive camera of all time,? added a spokesman afterwards.
As we reported last month auctioneers had expected the gem to fetch in excess of £100,000.
It was snapped up by an anonymous bidder.
Auctioneers claim that the camera ?throws new light on the history of photography?.
They believe that it was made shortly after French inventor Louis Daguerre published details of his photographic process on 19 August 1839.
?The camera with the original lens by Chevallier is in wonderful original condition and has never been restored or modified,? claimed the auction house.
Until now, the Daguerreotype camera produced by Daguerre?s brother-in-law Giroux – also in 1839 – has been regarded as the origins of commercial photography.
The camera was built for 6.5inx8.5in ?whole plate? exposures.
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A full report appeared in AP?s 21 April issue.