Eisenstaedt’s “Kiss in Times Square”

Eisenstaedt’s “Kiss in Times Square” print and camera Leica that shot it make big bucks at auction

Known as “Kiss in Times Square”, it’s a photo that came to symbolize the end of World War II and one that’s particularly touching for those remembering fallen soldiers as part of Memorial Day ceremonies today.

A signed print of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s iconic 1945 V-J Day celebration shot and the Leica camera that captured it both sold at auction on Friday for a combined total of nearly $180,000.
Eisenstaedt’s “Kiss in Times Square”
The signed Eisenstaedt print fetched 24,000 Euros (~US$31,000) while Eisenstaedt’s camera, a Leica IIIa rangefinder, sold for 114,000 Euros (~US$147,400) at the 23rd WestLicht Photographica Auction in Vienna, Austria on May 24th.

Eisenstaedt continued to use the same Leica IIIa for 50 years after he captured his famous Times Square photo, including a final portrait session with President Bill Clinton and his family, two years before the photographer died.

eisentaedt's-leicaEisenstaedt’s camera, however wasn’t the most expensive sale of the WestLicht auction. That honor went 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 (~US$682,366). The second biggest sale was a Leica M3 prototype, which sold for 432,000 Euros (~US$558,302). Meanwhile, a prototype Noctilux 1.2/50mm chrome lens sold for 144,000 Euros (~US$186,100).

Below is a screenshot of some of the most expensive cameras from WestLicht’s auction. Sure makes it look your pro Canon or Nikon like cheap toys, don’t they?

WestLicht auction results

(WestLicht results via Leica Rumors)