This years Popular Culture: Film and Entertainment sale at Christies
offers something for everyone, showcasing items worn, owned and signed by a whole host of iconic stars from the silver screen, as well as original film props and costume. Items relating to household names including Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Marlene Dietrich, and Charlie Chaplin, as well as the characters James Bond, HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey and numerous Disney characters are featured in the auction. Leading the sale is an exceptionally rare Darth Vader costume, with the main components, including the helmet and mask, considered to have been production-made for The Empire Strikes Back. The full costume is expected to realise £160,000 to £230,000 with a percentage of the proceeds being donated by the vendor to benefit Cancer Research UK.
Further highlights from the sale include
Romance, elegance and style were personified by leading ladies such as Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Marlene Dietrich and Audrey Hepburn. And their popularity lives on in memorabilia.
Sure to excite collectors is a set of seven relaxed and candid photographs of Marilyn Monroe behind the scenes of the last film she completed, The Misfits, in 1961, sold with copyright (estimate: £4,500-6,500).
Several costume designs by the world famous Edith Head for Grace Kelly feature, including a watercolour and pencil costume sketch of Grace Kelly as Lisa Carol Fremont in the opening scene of the Paramount film Rear Window, 1954, directed by Alfred Hitchcock (estimate: £6,000-8,000).
Also in the sale is a watercolour and pencil costume sketch of Marlene Dietrich as Empress Catherine II of Russia in the Paramount Productions film The Scarlet Empress, 1934 (estimate: £5,000-7,000).
A Walther air pistol held by Sean Connery as James Bond in the advertising campaign for the 1963 film From Russia With Love, as well as further films, is on offer for fans of the suave secret agent from the longest running and most successful film franchise ever made (estimate: £15,000-20,000). A further lot relating to 007 is a .41 Remington Arms Derringer, used by the villain Nick Nack, in The Man With The Golden Gun, 1974 (estimate: £3,000-5,000).
As well as the Darth Vader costume leading the sale, are parts of another legendary Sci-Fi baddie HAL 9000 from Arthur C. Clarke (writer) and Stanley Kubrick's (Director/writer) 1968 Warner Bros. film 2001: A Space Odyssey. On offer is an aluminium plate believed to have been made as one of the front panels of the central character, the Heuristcally programmed ALgorithmic 9000 computer on the 'Discovery One' spacecraft (estimate: £15,000-20,000).
Offered from the family of Tommy Cooper, is a selection of items once belonging to the popular and ground-breaking comedian. Items include tricks, passports, awards, photographs and pictures, as well as his signature accessory a Fez, signed (estimate: £2,000-3,000). A pastel portrait of an animated Tommy Cooper, in a typical pose, is dated circa 1978 (estimate: £400-600).
SILVER SCREEN CLASSICS
Following the successful sale of the original armature used to film the final, climactic scenes of the 1933 epic King Kong at Christies South Kensington in November 2009 for £121,250 another important King Kong relic is included in this sale. A rare metal armature/skeleton designed by Willis O'Brien believed to be part of the miniature model of a Brontosaurus dinosaur, used during the pursuit of Ann scene. In the scene a brontosaurus attacks a sailor in a tree, during the 1933 RKO Studios' masterpiece of stop-motion animation King Kong (estimate: £10,000-15,000).