STAR WARS AT BONHAMS AS OBI WAN KENOBI’S CLOAK FETCHES £54,000

. March 12, 2007

A remarkable collection of costumes created and supplied by Angels The Costumiers, for some of the most iconic international film and television in history sold at Bonhams in Knightsbridge, London, today (Tuesday 6 March 2007), in what is believed to be the UK’s largest and most important archive of film and television costumes to come to auction. More than 400 costumes were available to collectors and amateur fans alike.

In a jam-packed saleroom, bids were relayed to the auctioneers of the day, Pippa Stockdale and Jon Baddeley. Ownership of Obi Wan Kenobi’s cloak was battled for by two telephone bidders. Four enthusiasts for Doctor Who fought a bidding war for related TV costumes. Items throughout the sale fetched between eight to 20 times their estimates. Costumes from James Bond, Monty Python, Braveheart, Only Fools and Horses, Four Weddings and a Funeral also proved very popular with the bidders.

Jon Baddeley, Group Head of Collector’s Department at Bonhams, comments: “We are delighted at the results of this sale. There has been a tremendous international interest in what is normally considered to be British cult television and film which is very exciting to see.”

Tim Angel, Chairman Of Angels, comments: “We are delighted at the success of today’s Bonhams sale of Angels costumes. We always intended for this sale to appeal to both the big international collectors of memorabilia and also to members of the general public keen to get their hands on a piece of movie history, and we are pleased that today has seen our wishes fulfilled and established that there is a clear market for such memorabilia. We will be giving serious consideration to another search of the Angels archive in the near future.”

The top costume prices in the sale were:

Cloak worn by Alec Guinness as Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars – £54,000

Dinner suit worn by Sean Connery from Thunderball, 1965 – sold for £33,600

Full outfit worn by Mel Gibson as William Wallace in Braveheart – sold for £25,200

Promotional costume worn by Tom Baker as Dr Who – sold for £24,600

A grey linen overcoat worn by Gary Oldman as Sirius Black from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – sold for £15,600

Fur Coat worn by Diana Rigg from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – sold for £12,960

Navy Battle dress jackey worn by Roger Moore from The Spy Who Loved Me – sold for £11,760

Batman & Robin suits worn by David Jason & Nicholas Lyndhurst in Only Fools & Horses – sold for £10,200

A full medieval suit worn by Kevin Costner in Robin Hood Price of Thieves sold for £7,200

Tim Angel, Chairman of Angels, and fifth generation of the family firm comments further, “The joy of being in this business is that you know you are creating something that will help an audience immerse itself in a different world. Our costumes are famous for fulfilling the exact requirements and needs of the film, and are researched and tailored to the highest standard. Whether it is the cloak of a Jedi knight from a galaxy far, far away, or the most elegant suit worn by Her Majesty’s best secret agent, our job is done if the audience are convinced by the authenticity and effectiveness of the costumes shown on the screen. The flip-side of creating such iconic costumes, that become so very famous and so firmly associated with key movies, is that they can never be used in other films or productions, nor can they be made available from our fancy dress shop…for obvious reasons! With over a century and a half’s worth of costumes on the racks, each with ever increasing insurance requirements, and space at a premium, it seemed the right time for us to allow collectors and fans the chance to take home a piece of the movie magic.”

ANGELS – SUPPLYING COSTUMES FOR A CENTURY AND A HALF

Angels, founded in 1840, is the world’s longest-established supplier of costumes to the film, theatre and television industry. Angels shop became popular with theatre actors who, at that time, had to purchase their own clothes and costumes for auditions and performances. It was Morris Angel, the company’s founder, who allowed actors to hire, rather than buy their outfits – the first man to make such an innovation. With the advent of cinema, the Angel family made their second major diversification by supplying costumes to the fledgling movie industry and, through primary company Angels The Costumiers, has continued to be a quiet and constant success story within the British (and international) film industry. Since 1946, when costumes supplied by Angels received an Academy Award® for Laurence Olivier’s Henry V, Angels The Costumiers has supplied costumes to a further 26 movies that have won Oscar®, for ‘Outstanding Achievement In Costume Design’ for work undertaken on major international films including Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars, Titanic, Gladiator and most recently Memoirs of a Geisha. At this year’s Academy Awards®, Angels costumes are in the running again for costumes supplied for Marie Antoinette and The Queen. Angels The Costumiers is based in Hendon, and boasts a warehouse containing over a million and a half costumes on five miles of hanging rails.

Below are selected highlights:

STAR WARS

The original Obi-Wan ‘Ben’ Kenobi’s cloak worn by Sir Alec Guinness in the masterpiece science fiction adventure, Star Wars (1977) sold for £54,000

Obi Wan Kenobi is one of the most prominent characters in the Star Wars saga. Whilst the character is central in the recently filmed prequels (Episodes I-III), starring Ewan McGregor in the role, the character first appeared in the first installment of the saga, Episode IV, A New Hope. Sir Alec Guinness gave a remarkable performance as the ageing Jedi knight in Episode IV and resumes his role in the other sequels.

When Star Wars was first released in 1977, thousands of people flocked to cinemas to watch what was to be the sci-fi epic that would redefine the genre. Alec Guinness starred with Carrie Fisher, and the then ‘little known’ actor, Harrison Ford. Produced by Gary Kurtz and written and directed by George Lucas, this classic epic of good versus evil was the highest-grossing movie for twenty years and continues to enthral audiences worldwide.

This original cloak, an integral part of this world of excitement and mystery is estimated at £50,000-60,000. Also from Star Wars is an imperial commanders uniform, estimated at £8,000-10,000.

DR. WHO

Costumes representing Dr Who include the original Tom Baker coat and Patrick Troughton trousers all worn in the series. The remaining outfits were worn by the actors for promotional reasons but not worn on set.

The complete promotional outfit made for Tom Baker includes a maroon wool topcoat, three pairs of trousers (tweed, grey wool and dark grey cotton), striped waistcoat, three felt hats and a striped scarf, and fetched 20 times its estimate to realise £24,600.

An original wine coloured 3/4 length coat, complete with two large added pockets for the Doctor’s jelly beans and sonic screwdriver used by Baker in various episodes of Dr. Who (including some Dalek Episodes), fetched £8,400.

A Patrick Troughton outfit (the second Dr. Who) fetched £9,600

Comprising full-length fur coat, tailcoat, checked trousers, shirt, tie, handkerchief and bandanas. Known for his scruffy appearance, Troughton played a much quirkier Doctor. The producers and writers behind the programme wanted the Doctor’s second incarnation to be a contrast to first Doctor, William Hartnell’s ‘Victorian Headmaster’ mode of attire. Therefore, Troughton was unveiled as, in his words, the “Cosmic Hobo,” an eccentric exemplified by his unusual combination of garments, and in particular his long hair coat.

John Pertwee as Dr Who, 1970 – 1974 – Costume fetched £9,600

The third Doctor Who, John Pertwee, is represented through the promotional outfit consisting of black cape coat, burgundy velvet jacket, black cravat, and sonic screwdriver. Pertwee took the character of the doctor in a different direction from the ‘Cosmic Hobo’ of before, Pertwee opting for being a dandy with a twist: he was a master of Venusian Karate and became a Doctor to rival James Bond with his ingenious gadgets and quick wit, Victorian tailcoats, deep purple velvet jackets, capes and scalloped shirtfronts.

Peter Davison as Dr Who, 1982-1984 Costume fetched £5,400

A promotional outfit for the fifth Doctor, Peter Davidson, is represented with a beige and orange-edged single breasted top coat, stripe trousers, cricket jumper, white shirt and straw hat, estimated at £1,200-1,500.

An promotional outfit worn by Sylvester McCoy – the seventh Doctor Who – including a cream linen jacket, grey pinstripe trousers, shirt, tie, pullover, scarf, shoes, cravat and hat, fetched £1,200.

JAMES BOND 007

Sean Connery’s dinner jacket worn in Thunderball in 1965 will be sold. Made in blackwool and lined with burgundy satin,this jacket fetched £33,600.

Original outfits worn by Pierce Brosnan in three of the films he starred in from 1995 to 1999 from GoldenEye (1995) featured. Brosnan’s Brioni grey three piece-suit sold for £8,640.

In GoldenEye, a new Bond for the 1990s was created, when Pierce Brosnan took over as 007. The long-established house of Brioni in Rome, supplied him with their famed look of style and elegance. Brioni has a stipulated way of tailoring their suits with a minimum of 185 steps to produce the finished article which creates an ageless fashion statement. The grey Brioni suit was used extensively throughout the film, most memorably in the scene between Alec Trevelyan and Bond in the disused communist statue park.

A wine coloured ski suit worn, with fur-lined hood, worn by Sophie Marceau in The World is Not Enough, sold for £1,800.

Outfits worn by Roger Moore – James Bond from 1973-1985 – include a navy battle dress jacket, complete with commanders epaulettes and inner pocket for the Walther PPK sold for £11,740. Made for The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977, this jacket was used in the finale of the film during the battle between Bond and the Stromberg operatives on the super-tanker.

MISCELLANEOUS OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

The amusing Batman and Robin suits used on Only Fools and Horses worn by David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst as the Trotter brothers, Derek and Rodney sold for £10,200. The series has won countless awards and is ingrained into the British culture with many classic gags and quotes. Recently, the Batman and Robin sequence in the Episode Heroes and Villains (1996) was voted in the top ten of memorable comedy moments on British television. These classic costumes were designed by Robin Stubbs.

A grey linen overcoat, from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), as worn by Gary Oldman as Sirius Black sold for £15,600.

Other female costumes in this sale, include items worn by: Kirsten Dunst, Ava Gardner, Jane Horrocks, Kate Hudson, Gemma Jones, Joanna Lumley, Sophie Marceau, Andie McDowell, Helen Mirren, Julianne Moore, Alanis Morrisette, Christina Ricci, Helen Slater, Joan Sims, Meryl Streep, Rachel Weisz, Kate Winslett and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Male actors whose costumes are featured include – Richard Attenborough, Christian Bale, Stephen Berkoff, Orlando Bloom, Dirk Bogarde, Kenneth Branagh, Richard Burton, Robert Carlyle, John Cleese, Sean Connery, Billy Connolly, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Johnny Depp, Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth, Errol Flynn, Harrison Ford, Stephen Fry, Mel Gibson, Sir John Gielgud, Alec Guinness, Charlton Heston, Benny Hill, Dustin Hoffman, John Hurt, Sid James, Val Kilmer, Jude Law, Johnny Lee Miller, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Robert Mitchum, Roger Moore, Laurence Olivier, Al Pacino, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Peter Sellers, Dick Van Dyke and Ray Winstone.
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