'More peas dear?' John Major's Spitting Image puppet auctions for £3,600

Bonhams' Entertainment Memorabilia auction in London this week saw the sale of renegade Timelord Doctor Who's Tardis, alongside some fearsome Daleks and a helmet from a terrifying Cyberman.

However, there was also a character on offer less likely to set pulses racing: the puppet of ex-Prime Minister John Major, alongside that of his wife Norma, remembered for being dull and eating peas on the show.

Part of the story of Spitting Image, featuring John Major's puppet

 Uniquely coloured grey all over to represent his supposedly less than enthralling personality, the Major puppet's style was the brainchild of satirical writer and journalist John O'Farell. The puppets appeared towards the end of the Conservative PM's time in office before Labour won a landslide victory under Tony Blair.

Major's last years saw an economic crisis and a Chancellor (Norman Lamont) forced to construct an unpopular budget just as now, though the current Prime Minister David Cameron was just his advisor at the time.

Spitting Image puppet of Prime Minister John Major
Spitting Image puppet of John Major with his wife Norma
(Click to enlarge)

Bonhams has already sold Spitting Image puppets of Tony and Cherie Blair (£12,600, January 2008), and even that of Gordon Brown (£4,800, June 2007 - long before he left office).

Margaret Thatcher's puppet achieved £5,040 in June 2007. Her Spitting Image character is best remembered for a biting quip at a restaurant with her Cabinet: "How would you like your steak?", "Rare.", "...and the vegetables?", "Oh, they'll have the same".

Major's puppet managed a more modest £3,600 - appropriately close to the middle of the estimate range; nothing to get anyone worried or overexcited.

Collectors interested in rare pieces of political memorabilia may be interested in something from a rather more charismatic leader: this annotated transcript of Winston Churchill's parliamentary answers, which is currently on the market.


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