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Leica is auctioning off a big chunk of camera history, and you can't afford it

Leica family tree

Got £350,000 to £450,000 ($456,400 to $86,800) to spare and are a massive Leica fan? You're in luck then as the famous 'Stammbaum' (family tree if your German's a little rusty) is up for auction with Christie's in London.

Leica's rich and illustrious heritage is known the world over and anyone who ventured to the company's HQ in Solms, Germany, would be greeted with the giant Stammbaum at reception.

Measuring 3m in height and just over 2m wide, it showcased the company's most notable M-series rangefinder and R-series reflex cameras (wisely, they didn't include their film and digital compact cameras), with the original Ur-Leica at the base of the tree. You could even buy a poster print of it to hang on your wall.

107 different cameras

With the move back to Wetzlar in 2013, the cameras were moved to the Leica Museum and the family tree was sold to Richard and David Stephens, who own the Leica Store in Manchester.

Repopulated with a staggering 107 Leica models of all different shapes and sizes, the family tree is now up for sale with Christie's.

The ideal starter collection for the Leica enthusiast, the auction closes in mid-September if you're tempted to put a bid in.

To find out more about the history of the Stammbaum, take a look at www.apotelyt.com for more insight.

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.