“It’s more important to click with people than click the shutter” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
One of the most historical and iconic photographs symbolising the end of World War II is known world wide as the “Kiss in Times Square”, a beautifully and compelling photograph by one of the greatest pioneers of modern photojournalism, Alfred Eisenstaedt’s. This renowned photograph from the 1945 V-J Day celebration was put up for auction on the 24th of May alongside the Leica camera that captured it. By the end of the auction, last Friday, the two combined nearly racked up a staggering £120,000!
The signed Eisenstaedt print fetched for 24,000 Euros (~ £20,500) while Eisenstaedt’s camera, a Leica IIIa rangefinder, sold for 114,000 Euros (~£97,450) at the 23rd WestLicht Photographica Auction in Vienna, Austria.
Eisenstaedt continued to use the same Leica IIIa for 50 years after he captured his most memorable photo, including a final portrait session with President Bill Clinton and his family, two years before the photographer died. Even right up until his death in 1995, Eisenstaedt was still shooting and adding to his inventory of over 100,000 negatives into his personal office at LIFE magazine.
However, Eisenstaedt’s camera was a long way off from the biggest sale of the WestLicht auction. The camera that took that title 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 (~£450,350!)