A rare O-series Leica camera from 1923 ? one of around 21 made to test the market ? is expected to fetch up to £223,000 at auction next month.
The auctioneers claim the camera, carrying the serial number ?107?, is in ?excellent and fully working condition?.
It will go under the hammer as part of the Westlicht Photographica Auction in Vienna, Austria on 17 November.
It is the seventh camera in the legendary O-series, which preceded the launch of the first mass-produced 35mm Leica camera, the Leica 1, in 1925.
?Never before has a comparable camera been sold at auction and we are certain that it will be able to achieve a world record result for a Leica,? said a spokesman for the auction house.
Experts believe it is the ?first ever Leica to be exported?, with the word ?Germany? engraved on the camera?s top-plate. ?It was shipped to New York for the US patent application,? they explained .
?The O series models are, in fact, the rarest of the Leitz still cameras and no major photographic collection would be complete without an example,? writes Paul-Henry van Hasbroeck in his exhaustive book on the history of the marque, ?The Leica?.
Other gems in the auction include a ?gold-plated? Leica M3 and Oskar Barnack design drawings from around 1932.
For details of the auction, and information on how to make a bid from the UK, visit