Indiana Jones hat fetches over $500,000 at auction
AFP – Indiana Jones’s signature fedora fetched more than half a million dollars at a blockbuster London auction of rare memorabilia from some of the most iconic movies of the past 40 years.
But the star attraction — the sleek jacket worn by the loveable Star Wars scoundrel Han Solo in "The Empire Strikes Back" — failed to clear the £500,000 ($665,000, 563,000 euros) reserve and went unsold.
Organisers said they had "a number of post-auction enquires" about the space-travelling jacket and were hoping to strike a deal in the coming days.
More than 600 costumes and props from much-adored films and television series went under the hammer on the banks of the River Thames.
The memorabilia seller Prop Store has held the annual event since 2014 and expected to collect a record £3.5 million.
That figure might not be initially met with the jacket setback.
Organisers were hoping it would get up to a £1 million. The auction was halted with bids at £450,000 — just short of the minimum price set by the undisclosed seller.
The jacket oozes cool and appeared in the scene in which Solo dodged asteroids and shot at Darth Vader in "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back".
"It is a relatively simple jacket," said Prop Store’s chief operating officer Brandon Alinger
He said "Star Wars" creator George Lucas wanted workaday-looking clothes rather than flashy costumes that might distract attention.
"There’s some very cool stylised elements, like this triple-stitch banding on the sleeves."
– Hoverboards and Wonka bars –
Ford’s fedora in the Indiana Jones franchise debut "Raiders of the Lost Ark" beat Prop Store’s expectation to sell for £393,600 ($522,255).
The price includes a buyer’s premium paid to the auctioneer. The hat cost £320,000 when the winning bid was placed and the hammer struck.
One of the most recognisable hats in film since Charlie Chaplin’s black bowler is signed on the inner sweatband by Ford himself.
The fedora was "sat upon, wrung repeatedly and treated with bleach and dust" ahead of filming to achieve a worn look, according to the auction catalogue.
Another hot item is the neon pink and green hoverboard ridden by actor Michael J. Fox’s character Marty McFly in the "Back to the Future" trilogy.
It was sold at the auction price of £30,000 — the lower end of what Prop Store had hoped.
Items from the "James Bond", "The Godfather", "Harry Potter", "Batman", "Aliens", "Star Trek", "Blade", "Tomb Raider" and "Men in Black" series were also up for grabs.
Other classic movie items sold include the robe worn by Brad Pitt’s Tyler Durden character in "Fight Club", a Wonka bar from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and Johnny Depp’s unique costume in "Edward Scissorhands".
Prop Store acquires its wares from movie studios, crew members and other collectors around the world.
It is due to announce the amount it raised from the auction on Friday.