Monday, May 28, 2007

World's oldest camera sells

The world's oldest commercially produced camera - built in 1839 in the early days of photography - was auctioned Saturday in Austria for nearly US$800,000.

The camera, a Daguerreotype by Susse Freres of France, went to an anonymous online bidder for $792,333, which also makes it the world's most expensive camera, the Vienna gallery and auction house WestLicht said in a statement.

The camera, which was found in an attic in Germany by a professor, is made of soft wood and weighs between five and six kilograms, WestLicht director Peter Coeln told Austrian radio. He said it was likely to have been built before August 1839.

"It was clear to me straight away that this was a camera from the first year of photography," he said.

Bids were placed from around the world, including South Korea, Japan, the U.S. and France.

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