The 1955 ‘black paint’ M3D camera was owned by David Douglas Duncan, an American photographer whose subjects included the artist Picasso.

The M3D was a forerunner of the Leica MP.

One of only four such models ever made, it bowed out to an ‘anonymous private collector’ for €1.68m at the WestLicht Photographica Auction in Vienna.

The camera is the most expensive camera ‘from a serial production’, and attracted the second highest price ever paid for a camera, say auctioneers.  

Earlier this year, a rare Leica camera that predated the mass-produced 35mm stills camera in 1925, sold for more than £1.7m – setting a new world record.

The Leica O-Series model – one of just over 20 ever made – raised €2,160,000 at the Westlicht auction in Vienna, Austria in May.