Movie memorabilia market - 2014 auction review

2014 marked a landmark year for the movie memorabilia market, with several important sales.

Golden age memorabilia continues to see the biggest bids at auction, spurred by the successes of Bonhams' partnership with Turner Classic Movies, which saw its second auction this year. The piano played in Casablanca saw the highest bids of the year in the sale, with one bidder paying $3.4m.

Meanwhile, Lord of the Rings secured its place in the pantheon of classic movies as far as collectors are concerned, with four of this year's top 10 results coming from Peter Jackson's landmark trilogy.

Also in 2014, perhaps the greatest movie memorabilia collector in history bowed out, as the final part of the Debbie Reynolds Collection - containing some of the finest movie treasures - was sold at Julien's Auctions.

Top movie memorabilia sale of 2014

The Casablanca piano led a selection of iconic props from the film, many of which had never been seen before

In 2012, Leonardo DiCaprio paid an impressive $602,500 for one of the pianos seen in collector favourite Casablanca.

Yet this was only the piano from the flashback scene. The real, iconic prop turned up at Bonhams in November this year, much to the excitement of the collecting world.

It sold for $3.4m to mark the highest sale of movie memorabilia in 2014, coming close to the $4m set by the Maltese Falcon statuette at Bonhams just one year before.

2014's important movie memorabilia sales

The Cowardly Lion costume from the beloved Wizard of Oz made $3m at Bonhams' TCM auction. One of the many coveted dresses worn by Judy Garland in the film sold for $245,000 in the same sale.

Also starring in the landmark Bonhams sale was the legendary sword wielded by Viggo Mortensen as Anduril in The Lord of the Rings (LOTR), which sold for $437,000.

Profiles in History offered Ian McKellan's staff from the LOTR trilogy, with one collector paying $390,000. Saruman's (Christopher Lee's) staff made $125,000 at Bonhams in November, while Julien's sold Gimli's (John Rhys-Davies') axe for $149,000.

Elsewhere, Indiana Jones' bullwhip - used in the first three films of the series - made $216,000 in October at Profiles in History.

Marilyn Monroe's favourite coat sold with a 44% increase on estimate at $173,000, yet the dress she wore for a Richard Avedon shoot failed to sell.

Heritage Auctions saw a new world record for a movie poster sold at auction, with the one sheet for legendary lost film London After Midnight selling for $478,000.

Vue Cinema and the Prop Store teamed up for one of the most anticipated sales of the year in October, which was headlined by Marty McFly's hoverboard from Back to the Future II at �22,000 ($35,377).

It was a breakout year for…

Movie posters. A market that has seen quiet success for years broke through to the mainstream in 2014, with the record for any poster at auction set by Heritage Auctions, with the one sheet for legendary lost film London After Midnight selling for $478,000.

Nicholas Cage's Phantom of the Opera one-sheet sold with 4.9% per annum growth at $203,000, while the Morris Everett Jr collection of movie posters - one of the largest ever compiled - crossed the block to much excitement Profiles in History.

It was a year to forget for…

Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim. Memorabilia from the OTT movie went on sale at the Prop Store in August, but saw lacklustre bids and little enthusiasm from collectors, who had presumably already seen the film and were suitably disappointed, making them reluctant to reach for their cheque books.

One you may have missed…

A selection of bowling memorabilia from the cult classic Big Lebowski appeared at Bonhams in May. The retro ball return and bench was estimated at a reasonable $14,000-16,000, but found no takers. Shame, it would have really tied the room together.

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