Auction: Much to the delight of movie buffs and collectors, a myriad of Hollywood’s iconic movie and television props are slated to go up for auction this Dec.
One of the United Kingdom’s leading auction houses, Prop Store is scheduled to host its annual live auction of movie and TV memorabilia for the 7th consecutive year from Dec. 1. Some highly sought-after items are likely to sell for over $5.6 million.
CEO of Prop Store Stephen Lane told Fox Business there are over 900 items in the stock. “One of the most important philosophies of Prop Store is that we cater to entry-level collectors so there’s a little bit of something for everybody in this,” he said.
In this year’s auction, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s (Ewan McGregor) hero lightsaber from the 2005 epic space-opera film Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is the most valuable item. It is expected to sell between $103,000 to $155,000. “For ‘Star Wars’ fans, this is a really big deal,” Lane said.
“Not only is it a hero lightsaber, but it’s also from the main character and was used by Ewan McGregor. We’re very confident it’s going to exceed its estimated selling price,” he explained. While the company previously auctioned lightsabers from prequels, Lane suggests this year’s lightsaber is “one of the best we’ve ever had.”
Fans of Top Gun will have an unmissable opportunity to get their hands on the bomber jacket Tom Cruise wore in his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell from the 1986 Tony Scott directed action drama film. It is estimated to fetch between $15,000 to $21,000.
In addition to that, the mechanical head from Alien is estimated to fetch between $52,000 to $78,000. James Bond’s MI 6 training suit which he sported in Skyfall is among a slew of other notable pieces along with the boots worn by Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman and the fedora Jack Nicholson wore for his portraying the Joker in 1989’s Batman.
Moreover, the costume Keanu Reaves donned for The Matrix: Reloaded will be going on the block as well. “That’s got an estimate of $50,000 to $80,000. It’s his complete costume, fully labeled,” Lane said. “Even the boots have Keanu Reeves’ initials.”
“That particular piece originated from the Warner Bros. studio itself,” he noted. The Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone signed by Rupert Grint (Ronald Weasley) and Daniel Ratcliffe (Harry Potter) will be one of the most affordable pieces in the collection.
“We fill all those gaps,” Lane said in terms of cost. “There’s a lot of products and pieces that suit different budgets,” Lane said. He admitted that finding such rare artifacts around the world is an arduous task.
“Locating the pieces is the biggest challenge and it’s also the best part of my job,” he said, adding that he founded Prop Store 22 years ago. “It was born out of my hobby to collect props and costumes and really search our collectibles. The hunt to find and locate something gives me more pleasure than anything else,” he explained.
One of the most remarkable pieces from the impending auction is Jareth’s (David Bowie) crystal ball from Labyrinth. It is estimated to sell anywhere between $13,000 to $19,000. Lane found the crystal ball unexpectedly when he had visited the home of a crew member, who worked on one of the Star Wars installments.
“We went downstairs to his living room and there on the wall was this beautiful ‘Labyrinth’ poster and I said, ‘Wow, that’s brilliant. I forgot you worked on that as well.’ I said, ‘Do you have anything from that?’ He said, ‘Well, I’ve got the David Bowie crystal ball. It’s just there behind you.'”
Lane said the crew member had no idea that it was worth tens of thousands. “People keep these items as mementos with no thought of that it could help put their kids through college in the years to come,” Lane said. “To have that experience to tell him how much the crystal ball was worth, it just blew him away.”
He went on to reveal that the coronavirus pandemic has helped him improve his auction. The two-day live auction will now feature an array of live streams, and a chance for private virtual viewings, where staffers will show potential buyers a closer look at the items on Zoom calls.
“That’s something new we felt would be beneficial,” Lane said. “From an operational and a delivery perspective, the pandemic has actually opened our minds to more. This is a great way to interact with people on a more global level than just doing a preview exhibition. I think when we’re on the other side of Covid we’ll continue with this and develop it further. We’re really excited about it and enjoying the change. It’s fun.”