A London movie theater might seem like an unusual spot to hold an auction, but for the London- and Los Angeles-based Prop Store, a veritable treasure trove of costumes, props, and other Hollywood collectibles from both television and the silver screen, nothing could be more fitting.
In business for 18 years, the company is now auctioning off 500 items on September 27 at the BFI IMAX cinema at Waterloo in London. Prop Store, according to the auction catalogue, “was founded on the belief that the props and costumes used in movies are pieces of art ― film art.”
Among the “art” included in the upcoming sale is everything from Christian Bale’s batsuit from The Dark Knight Rises, estimated at £60,000; to Jack Bauer’s New York State driver’s license, used by Kiefer Sutherland in the award-winning series 24, a relative bargain at just £300–500 ($400–660).
Other intriguing lots include a TIE fighter pilot helmet from “Star Wars: A New Hope,” (£50,000–70,000, [$66,000–92,000]), Harry Potter’s Hogwarts acceptance letter from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (£3,000–5,000 [$4,000–6,600]), and the annotated “Jurassic Park” script used by Richard Attenborough (£4,000–6,000 [$5,300–8,000]).
One of Prop Store CEO Stephen Lane’s earliest purchases was an axe from Stephen King’s “The Shining,” memorably employed by Jack Nicholson in the film’s climatic scene ― but it’s not for sale. “It’s like a prized possession,” said Lane, who has hung the piece on a wall in his home, to Bloomberg.
Lane sees movie props as a burgeoning market. “We still haven’t reached the heady heights of recognition yet that you might find in rock and pop memorabilia, but I believe that’s where we’re going,” he said. “We get a lot of people who dip into this specifically because they’re looking at what might be the future rare item.”
Prior to the live auction, the Prop Store is offering a two-week preview exhibition beginning September 14 that is free and open to the public.