Bruce Lee's Game of Death jumpsuit to auction for $39,500 with Spink

To mark the 40th anniversary of his death, Spink is auctioning a superb selection of Bruce Lee memorabilia in Hong Kong, including the jumpsuit he wore in Game of Death.

Bruce Lee Game of Death suit
Quentin Tarantino paid homage to Bruce Lee by kitting Uma Thurman out with an almost identical outfit in Kill Bill

Perhaps the most iconic piece of martial arts movie memorabilia, the suit is one of two worn by Lee in the 1978 film, which was released five years after his unexpected death. It is estimated to sell for $32,247-38,696.

Also featuring in the December 5 auction is the matching one-of-a-kind pair of nunchaku (high estimate also $38,696) that Lee wielded in order to demonstrate his own martial art, Jeet Kune Do.

The suit was also designed for this purpose by Lee himself, with its lines added to illustrate his flexibility.

The nunchaku and jumpsuit were designed to illustrate Lee's specially developed martial art, Jeet Kune Do

In total, four examples of the suit exist, though only two were worn by Lee and this example is said to be in the best condition, aside from a broken zipper and shrinkage.

"The last fight he had with the Hapkido expert from Korea, it was documented that the zipper was broken, I believe that was the last time that was ever worn by him," commented Anna Lee, Spink's vice-chairperson.

Both the jumpsuit and nanchaku were originally given to Lee's friend and top student Taky Kimura. Both are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from him.

Bruce Lee Heart of the Dragon Pendant
Personal items from Bruce Lee are rare on the market, with the majority owned by the Bruce Lee Foundation, which is run by his daughter Shannon

The auction will also offer a "Heart of the Dragon" pendant personally designed by Lee, which was created to celebrate the completion of Enter the Dragon, his first US feature. Fashioned just two months before his death, from gold, white gold and jade, it is valued at $19,348-25,797.

"I think it tells you that the man is capable of turning something rather simple into something very elegant. The bell really rings with a lot of people," commented Bruce Lee collector Stanley Zau on the auction.

Hong Kong has seen many events to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Lee's death, including an exhibition that will run for five years displaying many collectibles on loan from the Bruce Lee Foundation.

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