The WestLicht camera auction on the 29th of May 2010 ended with a sensation. Lot 544, a Daguerréotype Giroux from 1839, was sold for the unbelievable price of 732,000 Euros (incl. premiums) and is thus not only the first commercially produced camera but also the most expensive camera in the world. No less spectacular is the price achieved by the mercury box that goes with the Daguerreotype – the extremely rare accessory was sold for 144,600 Euros.
The wooden sliding-box camera was made in Paris in September 1839 by Alphonse Giroux, the brother-in-law of Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, the inventor of the first practicable photographic process. Daguerre even signed the camera to verify its authenticity. Only a few of these cameras are known to exist worldwide and all of those are in public museums.