One-of-a-Kind Leica M4 Wrapped in Plastic May Fetch Big Bucks at Auction

Leica M4 camera wrapped in plastic

While the October edition of the biannual Wetzlar Camera Auctions is still many months away, an item that will be available this fall has already been unveiled, and it’s one of the strangest Leica cameras ever — a Leica M4 wrapped in plastic and twine by the artist Christo.

As spotted by Leica Rumors, Christo, who passed away in 2020, made the intriguing wrapped M4 as a birthday present for photographer Wolfgang Volz in 1994. Volz has documented the life and work of many artists, including the artistic duo of Christo (1935-2020) and Jeanne-Claude (1935-2009).

Christo and Jeanne-Claude were no strangers to wrapping culturally significant objects. In addition to the Leica M4, the artists wrapped monuments, including the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Reichstag in Berlin.

Leica M4 camera wrapped in plastic

Beyond these sorts of temporary art installations that attracted millions of visitors, Christo also wrapped objects for limited-edition and one-off, unique pieces. The one-of-a-kind wrapped Leica M4 is a very personal choice for Volz, as the longtime German Leica photographer accompanied Christo and Jeanne-Claude on many projects for nearly 50 years.

In the case of temporary installations, Volz’s photos are all that remains to document the artistic endeavors.

The M4 that Christo wrapped for his photographer, collaborator, and friend had previously been used to document some of Christo’s wrapped artworks and projects.

Even though it is wrapped in plastic and challenging to see, this particular Leica M4 is not a traditional black or silver color. Wolfgang Volz had previously redesigned his camera and Summicron 35mm lens to sport a red and blue colorway.

Leica M4 camera wrapped in plastic

Ironically, Volz picked these colors to not attract as much attention when doing a job in New York for the German news magazine Der Spiegel. Volz thought the shiny chrome-plated M4 would be too eye-catching and prevent him from blending in.

The wrapped red and blue Leica M4 sports Christo’s original cord fastening, and the signature remains in excellent condition.

The one-of-a-kind Leica, part art and part camera, will start at auction at €40,000, which is about $43,450 at current exchange rates. However, seeing the item sell for €100,000 or more would not be surprising. It is an exceptionally superb and unusual example of blending photography, Leica, and the larger world of art.

Image credits: Wetzlar Camera Auctions. The Christo-wrapped Leica M4 will be available at auction on October 12, 2024.