Published: February 20, 2001
SOUTH KENSINGTON, LONDON – Movie memorabilia brought strong prices “over there” and online last week.
Christie’s second James Bond sale, conducted in London February 14, featuring memorabilia from all the Bond films spanning almost 40 years, totalled close to $900,000 and was 99 percent sold. More than 800 bidders and onlookers filled two salerooms at the gallery, while14 telephone lines were installed to take international bids.
The highlight of the sale was the silver 1965 Aston Martin DB5 driven by Pierce Brosnan in the film Goldeneye (1995), complete with a custom-made drinks compartment, which sold for $236,625 (£157,750). Following frenzied bidding in the saleroom and on the telephone, the car was eventually purchased by Max Reid from Sheffield, England.
“I am absolutely ecstatic to have bought this wonderful car which is a Valentine gift for my wife, Helen,” said Reid after the sale. “I also plan to use it in the promotion of my computer leasing company.”
The cream-colored cotton bikini worn by Ursula Andress in Dr. No as she emerged from the sea in one of the most famous scenes from a James Bond film fetched $61,725 (£41,150) from the owner of Planet Hollywood, Robert Earl, bidding on the phone from New York City.
“Ursula’s Andress’s bikini is the most important piece of film memorabilia ever to be auctioned,” gushed Earl. He plans to display the bikini in Planet Hollywood’s new restaurant in Times Square.
Bond gadgets, always particularly popular with collectors, included a specially adapted Rolex watch used by Roger Moore to cut himself and Miss Caruso free in Live and Let Die (1973) realized $38,775 (£25,850). It was purchased by the London based vintage watch specialists, Watchguru Ltd. From the same film, Bond’s shark gun and compressed air bullets fetched $26,437 (£17,625), also bought by Planet Hollywood.
The Walther PPK air pistol brandished by Sean Connery in the poster and advertising campaign for the 1963 film From Russia with Love, sold for $21,150 (£14,100) – more than tripling pre-sale expectations. Continuing on the gun theme, a prop rubber Walther P99 stunt gun used in the film Tomorrow Never Dies doubled expectations, selling for $14,980 (£9,987).
And February 9 sales of Hollywood Memorabilia from The Sands Hotel Hollywood Collection in Atlantic City, N.J., totaled $128,453, offered by Dawson’s Auctioneers of Morris Plains, N.J., on sothebys.com. The online auction was composed entirely of entertainment memorabilia from the Sands Hotel’s “Epic Buffet” restaurant and Hollywood theme décor collection, and featured costumes and props from both classic and contemporary films.
Highlighting the sale was a trio of costumes from the 1962 epic film Cleopatra starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Richard Burton’s striking green leopard skin, gold armour and red cape (est $3/5,000) sold for $18,150, more than three times the high estimate.
Elizabeth Taylor’s regal winged cloak with a cobra at the neck and an olive-colored underdress nearly doubled a high estimate of $6,000, with the final bid closing at $11,000. Another ensemble donned by Elizabeth Taylor for Cleopatra featured an elaborately decorated orange robe and yellow gown (est $2/3,000) which sold for $7,700.
The sale included a full-scale white and gold painted chariot from the classic film Ben Hur that surpassed a high estimate of $1,500 to sell for $5,775.
Highlights also featured movie memorabilia from contemporary films and included a pair of prop gold bricks from the James Bond film Goldfinger (est. $200/300), which sold at $2900, and a life-size model in disrepair of the Terminator skeleton from Terminator 2: Judgement Day, which brought $5,775, far exceeding the high estimate of $150.
Also sold were rdf_Descriptions from the films Spartacus, Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments, Forrest Gump, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Arc, The Flintstones, Aliens and The Mask.
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