Jack Nicholson's Joker Costume from 1989's 'Batman' scares up $125,000 at Heritage Auctions
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Jack Nicholson's Joker Costume from 1989's 'Batman' scares up $125,000 at Heritage Auctions
Jack Nicholson "The Joker" Screen Worn Signature Costume and Hat from Tim Burton's Batman (Warner Bros., 1989).

DALLAS, TX.- To paraphrase Jack Nicholson’s Joker: Wait ’til you get a load of this.

Heritage Auctions’ two-day Hollywood & Entertainment Signature® Auction wrapped Saturday night after realizing $4,330,594. And among the top lots in the July 22-23 event was the purple suit Nicholson wore onscreen as The Clown Prince of Crime in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman. The outfit, perfect for dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight, sold for $125,000 after a prolonged bidding war.

This, too, was the auction that featured George Clooney’s (in)famous Batman suit worn in 1997’s Batman & Robin – the one with the “nipples on the costume,” Burton recently said when asked why he didn’t make a third Batman movie. That titillating outfit found a new Batcave Saturday afternoon when it sold for $57,500.

More than 2,330 bidders from around the world participated in the event – on HA.com, over the phone and in person. They vied for thousands of historic artifacts spanning cinema’s rich history, many from the collection of blockbuster producer Joel Silver, chief among them the complete hero costume display and Guy Fawkes mask Hugo Weaving wore in 2005’s V for Vendetta, which sold for $68,750. One lucky winner also went home Saturday with an unholy trinity of Hugo Weavings – a set of three life-size figures of his Agent Smith used in 2003’s The Matrix: Revolutions – that sold for $57,500.

One of the auction’s most delightful offerings also came from Silver’s collection: a life-size Roger Rabbit figure used as the cartoon cottontail’s stand-in during filming of 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Silver’s best known as a producer, but he actually appeared as a director in Robert Zemeckis’ groundbreaking blend of live action and animation. This one-of-a-kind treasure realized $55,000 after a prolonged tussle between bidders.

Movie/TV Memorabilia:Props, "Victor Van Dort" and "Emily the Corpse Bride" (2) Hero Stop-Motion Puppets from Corpse Bride (Warner Bros., 2005)... (Total: 2 Items)

This auction was replete with movie milestones, among them Walt Disney’s first professional movie camera, which sold for $50,000; costume designer Edith Head’s stunning sketches, including her rendering of Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly outfit from Breakfast at Tiffany’s that realized $38,750; and the Victor Van Dort and Emily the Corpse Bride’s hero stop-motion puppets from 2005’s Corpse Bride, whose new owner paid $106,250 for the couple that hail from the collection of director Mike Johnson.

Here, too, were moments from some of Hollywood’s biggest spectacles and grandest blockbusters, chief among them the never-ending Star Wars series and the ever-growing entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The latter was well represented by the likes of the hero Mark III illuminating Iron Man helmet worn by Robert Downey Jr. in 2008’s Iron Man, which sparked the franchise. A bidder not named Tony Stark paid $137,500 for the trophy.

Not far behind was Obi-Wan Kenobi’s bladed hero lightsaber Ewan McGregor wielded in 1999’s Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace. This elegant weapon from a more civilized age realized $125,000.

But in the words of Han Solo, “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side.” One bidder clearly agreed: A screen-used, Bapty & Co.-crafted hero E-11 blaster from 1977’s original Star Wars, which was used by stormtroopers and Han, Luke and Leia during the Mos Eisley Spaceport shootout and key Death Star sequences, sold for $47,500.

A relic said to make an entire army invincible also had its moment in the sun Saturday: A pair of ark angels that adorned the top of the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark sold for $50,000. Truly, a find of incredible historical significance, as Indiana Jones once said.

“One of the great joys of this job is bringing to auction treasures from throughout entertainment history, then watching as clients get to take home these artifacts replete with magic and memories,” says Heritage Auctions Executive Vice President Joe Maddalena. “Everything in this auction, as in all of our entertainment events, is something everyone has seen once or a thousand times, whether it was a prop held by a hero or a key moment from a favorite film or landmark achievement. These auctions are as much fun as the movies themselves.”

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