Paul Fraser Collectibles' Top Five finest pieces of movie memorabilia



Christie's has  announced that it will be selling paintings, furniture and furnishings which featured in the cult British film Withnail and I (1987) at it South Kensington saleroom on Sunday, 31 July 2011.

Sold by Metallica's Kirk Hammett

Movie memorabilia remains one of the most bankable niches on the collectibles markets. So, to mark the sale, here are Paul Fraser Collectibles' Top Five finest pieces of movie memorabilia...

#5 Original poster for Fritz Lang's 1927 epic, Metropolis

Did you know that Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett is a big sci-fi fan? In March of last year, Hammett was 'outed' when a treasured gem from his collection, an extremely rare movie poster for Fritz Lang's groundbreaking sci-fi classic Metropolis, was auction in Dallas.

It's unbelievable to think now, but Lang's masterpiece wasn't well-liked by American audiences upon its original release in 1927. After confusing US theatre crowds, massive edits were made to the film - essentially cutting its heart out.

But, fast-forward some 90 years and Metropolis's legacy as the standard-setter for all epic science fiction movies is well-established. Original release posters for the film are among the rarest of the rare, and are especially treasured by collectors.

Fortunately, Hammett's need to clear some wall space gave bidders a once-in-a-lifetime chance to own a piece of sci-fi history. An original poster sold for $47,800. Also among the guitar god's treasures was a Swedish poster from 1933's King Kong which realised $28,680.

#4 James Bond film poster for Diamonds are Forever

The top lot of a Christie's sale of classic movie posters last month (June 15) included a valuable poster for the classic James Bond movie Diamonds are Forever (1971, Eon/United Artists), starring Sean Connery.

The original hand-painted concept artwork by Robert E McGinnis for the poster campaign was signed by the artist. It was expected to do well, carrying a £18,000-24,000 listing, but it easily tripled the top of that range to sell for £79,250 ($129,970) to an American collector.

The 007 James Bond Diamonds are Forever film poster

Not only was this a world record price for any item of James Bond film poster memorabilia, it was also a world record price for a concept artwork at auction, according to Christie's.

#3 Rick Deckard's Blade Runner blaster gun (bought for $225,000)

According to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, it's only another eight years until Los Angeles is overrun with murderous rogue robots, called Replicants. But at least one collector will be prepared after winning the actual blaster gun used by Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) at a 2009 auction.

While a few rubber stunt guns have surfaced on the market, this particular "Hero blaster" was thought to have been lost for decades. That is, until it emerged after 25 years from the collection of Jeff Walker, a Hollywood marketing  specialist who'd bought it from the film's production company.

Deckard's blaster gun from Bladerunner still gives Rutger Hauer nightmares

The prop was originally built by melding together two firearms: a Steyr-Mannlicher Model .222 SL receiver and a Carter Arms .44 police bulldog double-action revolver. Deckard's blaster appeared in Profiles in History's Hollywood auction billed as "one of the single most important weapons in Science Fiction history."

Estimated at $100,000-500,000, it blasted to $225,000.

#2 The TIE Fighter that crashed into Darth Vader  

This TIE Fighter pilot changed Star Wars history... by accidentally bumping his TIE Fighter into Darth Vader's in Episode VI. As a result, Vader get out of the trench allowing Luke Skywalker to destroy the Death Star.

Grant McCune, head of the film's model shop, built just four TIE Fighter models for the production of Star Wars: A New Hope. Little did he know that this model, built from resin around a aluminium frame, would one day become one of the most famous fighter ships in cinema history.

This TIE Fighter had a crucial role in the Star Wars Episode IV

Sold at a Hollywood auction in 2008 from the collection of Oscar-winning Visual Effects wizard, Richard Edlund, collectors scrambled for the opportunity to own this model when it appeared estimated at a $150,000-$200,000, sold with camera shoot reports from 1976 detailing its scenes.

Not surprisingly, this singular piece of Star Wars history tops our list after shooting all the way to $350,000.

#1 Marilyn Monroe's dress from the Seven Year Itch

It's best remembered as the white dress that blows up over the grate. And the dress reminded everyone how well-remembered it was at Profiles in History's Beverly Hills auction on Saturday (June 18).

Believed to have contributed to the terminated of Monroe's marriage to jealous Joe DiMaggio, the dress was sold by Debbie Reynolds, the film actress. It's estimated there were over 500 people present at Profiles in History's auction.

Is this Monroe-worn gown the most iconic dress of all time?

Bidding on the dress lasted 20 minutes, during which time its value shot up to $5.6m, including a $1m commission to the auction house. Today, the dress remains arguably the most famous dress in all cinema history - and also the most valuable.


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