On one of humanity’s most disheartening days, the police officer turned journalist, John Botte, documented stories of pain, terror, and heroism on New York’s “Ground Zero.” Today, it’s believed that a large portion of the visual material that would be released following the national tragedy would belong to Botte — and now, a bespoke Leica MP belonging to the documentarian is being listed for auction.
In the years following the events of 9/11, Botte would relinquish this photographic device to designer and master engraver, Sam Alfano, to create a one-of-a-kind exterior for the camera. After working on the specialized body for nearly two years, Alfano returned the MP to Botte with its newly acquired design — revealing that he would never complete another in his lifetime. Alfano’s statement makes this unique example all the rarer — so rare, in fact, that Botte would donate the camera to Leica’s Miami store for display, maintenance, and safekeeping. Now, the time has come for this collectible piece to find a new home. The historically relevant Leica MP “John Botte” is available for auction via Leitz Photographica for an estimated $68,000.