Leica camera collector Douglas So has turned the ground floor of a three-storey house in Happy Valley into a F11 Photography Museum.
The museum on 11 Yuk Sau Street will open on September 18, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.
So, a solicitor and the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s executive director, charities, will use the second floor of the building for a private Leica camera museum, with the manufacturer Leitz’s very first camera, Model A Anastigmat produced in 1925, among the exhibits.
According to auction consultant Eric Lam of Westlicht Auctions, the Model A is extremely rare and its historical value is only second to the Leica Null-Serie, fewer than 25 pieces of which were produced in 1923.
Fewer than 200 Model A Anastigmat were made and each of these cameras is estimated to be worth more than HK$1 million (US$128,200) today. A Model A Anastigmat fetched 84,000 euros (US$112,258) in one auction.
So is believed to be among the top collectors of Leica cameras in Asia.
He bought the building, which has a Grade III rating from the Antiquities and Monuments Office, two years ago for HK$90 million.
Apart from a large number of different Leica cameras, the F11 museum is also home to more than 1,000 photography journals published by international photographic cooperative agency Magnum, including many autographed manuscripts.
The museum aspires to arouse public interest in photography and preserve the culture of artistic photography through the display of vintage cameras, books and works in a historical venue, So said.
To coincide with the museum’s opening, a photographic exhibition titled “Elliott Erwitt: Best in Show” and a “Leica M3: 60th Anniversary” camera exhibition will be staged from September 18 to November 30, the report said.
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