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'Kiss in Times Square' Leica camera fetches nearly $150,000 at auction

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alfred eisenstaedt leica iii
alfred eisenstaedt leica iii

The Leica IIIa rangefinder that Albert Eisenstaedt used to take the famous Kiss in Times Square photo on V-J Day has sold at auction for €114,000 (about $147,000). The bidding war turned out to be a huge success for auction house Westlicht, which had expected the camera to go for between €20,000 and €25,000 ($26,000 - $33,000).

After capturing the iconic V-J Day photo, Eisenstaedt continued to use the Leica for five decades until his death in 1995, including a shoot with President Clinton. It wasn't the most expensive camera on offer at Westlicht's auction, though — a gold-plated Leica III, passed down through generations of the family behind German sparkling wine producer Henkell, went for €528,000 (about $682,000).