Bond Memorabilia Auction Rakes in £732,000 on 70th Year of First Novel
In a tribute to the iconic James Bond series, a plethora of memorabilia has been auctioned off in London, fetching an impressive £732,000.
The auction saw a variety of James Bond franchise memorabilia under the hammer, ranging from books and movie posters to cars, watches, and whiskey.
The total revenue of £732,409 surpassed the initial estimate of £570,500, marking a significant uptick in the collectors’ market for Bond paraphernalia.
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Casino Royale Original Novel Fetched £22,860
Among the notable sales was a first edition of Casino Royale, which was snapped up for £22,860, falling short of the expected £50,0000.
Fenella Theis, Specialist in Books and Manuscripts at Sotheby’s, said of the sale, “This book is from the Jon Gilbert collection who acquired Ian Fleming and James Bond material for over forty years. Ian Fleming as an author is a true British icon and to have his first and most classic book sell is really exciting.”
Theis highlighted explained the shortfall in the prize asset, noting that while film posters attract a mass market, book sales tend to draw a more niche audience.
“Everyone has grown up watching Bond and the different Bonds over time mean the film series targets different generations of people,” said Theis. “He embodies a British icon, a lost era, and an enduring appeal through the storylines, clothing, and memorabilia, the likes of which have sold today.”
The auction featured a few surprises as well, with a Goldfinger ‘Pussy’ photo by Terry O’Neill fetching a staggering £27,940, significantly above the estimated £2,400.
Additionally, a Macallan James Bond 60th anniversary edition whisky matched the selling price of the Casino Royale book, and a Dr. No (1962) film poster found a new home for £20,320.
Kevin McClory’s Handwritten Notes Also Part of Auction
The auction extended beyond the usual memorabilia, featuring handwritten notes from the estate of Kevin McClory, recounting the contentious journey of James Bond to the silver screen.
Originally, Thunderball was slated to be the inaugural Bond film, a collaboration between McClory, screenwriter Jack Whittingham, and Fleming. However, disputes arose, leading Fleming to adapt the screenplay into a novel.
McClory’s subsequent legal action and Fleming’s demise didn’t hinder Thunderball from eventually being developed in 1965 by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman.
This recent auction notably eclipsed the revenue from a previous auction in 2022, marking the 60th anniversary of Dr. No, by £100,000, underlining the enduring allure and significance of the James Bond franchise in popular culture.