Although it featured in From Russia with Love, a Walther air pistol sold at Christie's yesterday (November 25) turned out to in fact be a 'golden gun'.
The pistol, held by Sean Connery in the film's poster and publicity shots, was expected to sell for an between $23,600 - $31,500 but as the dust settled after some furious bidding it had reached an incredible $437,000, 14 times its original estimate.
Part of Christie's 'Popular culture: Film and Entertainment' auction in London, the gun was the star lot amongst Star Wars and Superman memorabilia.
But the gun itself was never meant for fame: it belonged to the photographer on the poster shoot, and was only used as a last resort when the original Walther PPK pistol didn't turn up.
The sale shows the enormous strength of the market for Bond memorabilia, despite the film franchise itself facing an uncertain future. From Russia with Love is widely regarded as the fan's favourite of the series, as well as Connery's, and memorabilia from his outings as Bond have always proven the most popular.
In fact the most expensive Bond related item comes from his third appearance as the super-spy, Goldfinger. The item in question is the 1965 Aston Martin DB5 driven in the film, featuring revolving number plates, ejector seat and a bullet-proof shield, which sold for an astounding $4.1m earlier this year.
For collectors looking to invest in some Bond memorabilia the message is clear: Connery is king. He is regarded as the definitive James Bond and his films of the '60s have remained as iconic as ever, where many later films in the series have not.
They are also of course the earliest films in the series, and like many collectibles the value of such items will appreciate over time. The Walther air pistol sold yesterday was originally purchased at auction in 2001 for a mere $22,226, meaning an amazing increase in price of 1866% over just nine years!
In real terms this equates to an investment return of 39.23% per annum (as opposed to the standard bank rate of 4% - 5%).
Try finding any other kind of bond that does that.
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