As Daniel Craig becomes the longest serving 007 James Bond movie props are a licence to thrill
April 2019 marked another milestone in the James Bond saga when Daniel Craig surpassed Roger Moore as the longest serving actor to play 007.
Double 0 may mean a licence to kill, but agents are not expected to survive long as they chase down global villains in Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
While agents may have a limited shelf life, the vast range of memorabilia from the James Bond prop stores becomes timeless and growing in value and desirability. Collectors are always on a mission to track down iconic artefacts.
Bond Lotus Esprit was a Musk have
They even attract the type of collector who are more Bond-like than Bond himself.
Elon Musk for example, the multi-billionaire technologist wrote a cheque for a cool £550,000 to buy the amphibious Lotus Esprit driven by Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me.
Musk famously used a company rocket to launch a car into outer space. You can bet your bottom dollar that the Bond Lotus is safely stored on Earth as an investment.
The Ian Fleming novels, brought to life in 26 movies, are the bedrock of a huge market in James Bond spin-offs, so many of which grab newspaper headlines and rack up the pound signs.
No skimping on Bond girl’s skimpy bikini
My favourite story, which has the ring of truth about it, is how the most famous Bond girl Ursula Andress, was having a wardrobe clear-out when she discovered the original bikini she wore in the film Dr No made in 1962. It is one of the most famous scenes in cinema history not just James Bond movies.
Ursula said she decided to ring up a sale room and ask if the bikini might be of interest to Bond fans. A few week later, in 2001, it sold for just short of £42,000.
Many of the Bond gadgets and weapons almost have a personality of their own and this is reflected in the prices they fetch.
The iconic Walther pistol used in the most famous Bond publicity poster sold a few years ago for £14,100.
A fine replica of the Golden Gun from the Man with the Golden Gun owned by the villain Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) was sold at an auction in Surrey in February this year for more than £6,500.
Moonraker laser raked in big money
A genuine laser rifle created for the 1979 film Moonraker came up in January as a lot in an Aston’s Entertainment & Memorabilia. I
It was among 16 lots put up by the son of the late Brian Bailey, a British accountant whose career took him to Hollywood to work with Roger Moore on Bond films like Moonraker, The Spy Who Loved Me, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun.”
Amazing price for one-word letter from Roger
Bailey is named in the end credits of Moonraker and had some tetchy correspondence with Roger Moore. A signed letter from Roger to Brian is framed, but it only has the word on it – “Bo****ks!”.
Chris Aston explained: “We can only imagine that this must be in response to Brian rejecting one of Roger’s expenses claims.”
The letter was estimated to sell at £300-£500 but sold at £950. Meanwhile the laser rifle raised £22,000.
Auctioneer Chris Aston said: “The rifle is one of only a very few surviving examples of these props.”
Bond cars are world famous and none more so than the Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger and Thunderball. On June 1, 2010, it sold for £2.91m.
The DB5’s journey is not over yet either. Aston Martin announced in August 2018 that it plans to build 25 replicas including some of the gadgets seen in the film, each model will sell for about £2.75 million.
Bond objects targeted by Collectors
A new Aston Martin is likely to be out of your price range, but don’t despair. There are smaller scale bits and bobs that might leave you stirred but not totally shaken.
At an auction in Surrey in February a set bullet-shaped Dupont James Bond 007 cufflinks engraved with 007 logo, produced in 2004 as part of a wider collection, sold for a cool £800.
A replica Golden Gun pistol, made by Lone Star Toys, Numbered as 1209 in its box hit the bullseye at £220.
A tiny Aston Martin DB5, No. 261, by Corgi with working features, with both bandit figures and secret instructions, box number 261 raised £150.
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) UK film poster, by artist Bob Peak, measuring 30 x 40 inches. Knocked down at £170.
James Bond auctions happen regularly so stay primed and alert and you could capture a piece of movie history at a bargain price.
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