Aliens Riverside studio auction 1987 update

David Oliver from “Propmasters” gives us an update

The whole lot was initially offered to my father by Tiny Nicholls, they knew each other and went way back, Tiny used to work for B&N. Dad had no real interest and I was just so very young with very little funds. Dad put Tiny in touch with Duncan @Bonhams who we both knew and the rest is history. I was there at the auction, Tim was as well I believe but we did not know each other then. I recollect it quite well. Complete full dress rails were sold off. Aliens Marines around £150 each, a huge crate of alien movie costume pieces, etc. Such very early days.

Davids collection can be seen at propmasters.net

Aliens & James Bond Riverside studios Bonhams auction catalog

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If you do a websearch on Riverside studios Bonhams auction of 1987 apparently it never happened. I bet most collectors on the forums and facebook haven’t either so its my pleasure to open up the paperwork vault and bring you pictures of the auction that so many people would wish they could go back in time too.

The event was held Monday 3rd August in 1987 at 3pm. Talking to a few colleagues on the MPF Tim Lawes of the Propstore of London was in attendance as was David Oliver of “The Twilight Zone” now “Propmasters”.

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Up to item 36 are items from “The Jewel of the Nile” including Michael Douglas’s famous white suit.

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The next items are Bond related.

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The front cover showed various items including the Clown costume from “Octopussy”, the Ringmaster and the cannonballer.

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Im sure you will agree those are some eye openingly good pieces.

No…your eyes are not deceiving you. That stunt cannonball suit sold for 95 pounds or around $150.00

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I believe the Dalton costume is this one that sold for around $550…with a Jereon Krabbe costume.

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Grace Jones costume pictured by Bonhams here sold for around $700. The cop is from “View to a kill”

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More Bond overstock below and then onto “Aliens” bottom right.

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Yes…that Gorman complete costume sold for 75 quid…..about $140 dollars.

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So thats 5 Gorman costumes total. Then the complete armor costumes with shirt and trousers, Helmets etc are listed as 2 Hicks, 1 Hudson, 1 Dietrich, 1 Frost.

There are 3 more that were sold as a SET!!!! lol….always makes me laugh to see that without leg armor for the characters Wierzbowski, Apone and Crowe.

Then Jackets, trousers and helmets for Hicks, Frost, Apone and Dietrich….again sold as a SET!!!

Lots 116-118 are various combos of jackets and trousers many of which we now know to have been production made but never used. One of the lots had 15 uniforms!

Now things get really mindblowing.

Lot 119 is Ripleys spacesuit from Alien….and an off duty uniform. That could either be from Aliens or Alien.

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I believe this is either owned by Hard Rock cafe or Planet Hollywood now.

Next are the other two members of the expeditions complete spacesuits followed by an incomplete Veronica Cartwright.

Then a couple of Spunkmeyers flightsuits from “Aliens”

I’m missing the next page but the final one I have is misc. films from the 70’s and 80’s

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Im doing a bit more research into the sale and trying to find out more on the prices so an update will be posted in due course.

Aliens Hicks Michael Biehn costume turns up on ebay…and an overview of “Aliens” costumes in the marketplace

whip14One of the best places and the worst places to shop for props is ebay.com. Unfortunately it is riddled with celebrity bras, fake antique store props and background character pieces, but occasionally a real gem can show up for sale. Originally sold in 1987 on August 3rd at the riverside studios Bonhams of London auction I think its very important when pieces like this come up to document the sale.

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Why? Because really good items are rare, and especially when they have been lost for so long.

Here is a link to Riverside studios information from a Dr Who perspective: http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Riverside_Studios

At the sale which had a plethora of really good items from Bond, Alien and Aliens as well as smaller productions costumes were sold for so cheap that today we would look upon it as impossible. Ive searched the internet but almost no mention has been made of the sale…in fact one of the only relics has been the odd costume to surface from it, and of course the original printed auction catalog.

Here is a quote from the great David Oliver over at Propmasters who was present at the sale:

The dress rails full of Aliens Marine Armour, etc., etc., at the bonhams chelsea bank auction. Only me and Tim Lawes were present there, i think perhaps because we were the only 2 collecting then in the UK !! My father was actually offered the entire inventory from Tiny but was not interested and passed Tiny on to Bonhams, it was alot of money then, i think he wanted around £25000 for it. What a pittance in todays market!

Here is an example below of those costumes liberated in 1987 for around one hundred pounds each that a few years later went for a great deal more. I actually have communication from Giles Moon, the gentleman in charge of the department at the time where I confirmed they both had strong provenance, one from The Twilight Zone (Propmasters) and the other from Alien War. Both sold for 920 pounds each in November 1996 at Christies South Kensington. whip7 In June 1993 at Camden house auctions this Frost sold for $750.

ALIENS” 1986 (20th Century Fox), four piece USCM camouflage uniform. Lot consists of: a helmet covered in camouflage material with video eye camera, including tape label inside helmet inscribed “Frost”; a camouflage jacket with an assortment of embroidered patches, with cloth label over breast pocket labeled “Apone”, (portrayed in the film by Al Mathews); matching camouflage pants with label “J. Remar”, and a pair of black leather and khaki fabric boots labeled “Hudson”, (portrayed in film by Bill Paxton).

This following item was one of the things that was useful in linking the ebay auction with the competition from Film Review magazine mentioned in the sale. http://www.proparchives.com/science-fiction/science-fiction-1980s/aliens/aliens-sigourney-weaver

ALIENS/SIGOURNEY WEAVER A two-piece boiler suit of grey cotton, a grey cotton T-shirt and an imitation brown leather bomber jacket – worn by Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in the 1986 Twenty Century Fox film Aliens; accompanied by a still of subject wearing the costume and a copy of a letter from Film Review magazine, congratulating the vendor on …becoming a prize-winner on our movie costumes competition….

whip8 Although the above was the first prize winners item…the second prize was the Hicks sold on ebay a few days ago. This one is kind of funny as supposedly it was sold at Bonningtons in ’87. Sigh….so much for spellcheck.

http://www.proparchives.com/science-fiction/science-fiction-1980s/aliens/trevor-steedman-camouflage-fatigues-from-aliens.

whip9 This one sold for $4000 in Profiles which for a background character shows the high prices achieved since 2008. So back to the Hicks that showed up on ebay this month. Here is the all important text from the sale as well as pictures used during the sale.

whip13 This is the genuine combat dress Michael Biehn wore as Cpl. Dwayne Hicks in the Movie Aliens (1986). Two parts, the short sleeve jacket and the trousers. I live in Sweden and got the dress as a second prize (first prize was Weavers t-shirt and leather-jacket!) in a competition arranged by a British film magazine back in 1987 or 1988 (if I remember correct it was Films Illustrated). They had got the props from an auction at the wellknown British auction house Bonhams. The dress have been stored by me since then and have never been used by anyone during all those years (Michel Biehn is rather small, which I am not…). What more to say? This is a unique prop.


On Feb-03-15 at 11:18:20 PST, seller added the following information: NEW INFORMATION I want to inform you about a blemish on the jacket – see pictures. I looks like oil slicks or something, and when I got the dress I was fool enough to try wash away one of the spots but the only thing that happened was that the fabric got a little bit blanched around the spot. (There is one more oil slick, but that one you do not see from outside the dress.) Perhaps I should have mentioned this little flaw from the beginning, but for me it has not been of importance for the personal value of the dress. Now when I see the very high interest in the item, with a lot of money involved, I feel it would be wrong not to inform about every little detail that could influence your decision to bid and buy. If the highest bidder before this information will still be the winner at the end of the auction want to resign it will of course be okey for me. Sorry for this, but I hope you still will be interested! I also added a picture of the label in the trousers, the jacket has no label.


On Feb-03-15 at 14:10:47 PST, seller added the following information: Got a question if there is also is a patch on the right sleeve with a screaming eagle and USCM (the American flag is on the left side) – and that is correct. It is placed more on the back so you do not see it in the pictures. I tried to upload it here now, but I already my 12 ictures so it did not work. Mail me and I send you the picture!whip12

With the above evidence sent to me I was able to inform the seller that the costume trousers were in fact worn by Mark Rolston as Drake.

In the end the costume was purchased from the seller privately. This was during a time when the leading forum on Aliens posted the auction information for other bidders to see apparently even though it was against the rules to do so (even though a direct link wasn’t given as I understand). A screenmatch was also made during this time essentially raising the possible value exponentially and published their too.

Sadly I wasn’t the winner of this item but i’m glad that it finally showed up in the world after being in this gentleman’s closet for the best part of 25 years in Europe.

The Propstop 2014 best of props & wardrobe awards

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Hi everyone. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and today is the start of 2015…so what better way to look forward than look back on the year.

Over the last few days I asked members of the Movie Prop Forum site to post the answers to three simple questions. Of the 600 members, I received 51 votes….which if I have to be honest I kind of expected. The site typically has about 50 active members who do all the talking so how can I expect those who are silent to vote.

Here are the results.

First up I asked “Who is your favorite prop seller of 2014″

Number 4 was a five way tie with 1 vote each for Screenbid, Hollywood History, The Prop Gallery, Movie prop warehouse, & The Golden Closet. Many of these are smaller dealers who may only sell a few items a week, BUT, I think as people could only vote once they did so on the company who they did more business with.

Number 3 is VIP auctions…who funnily enough I did the most transactions myself with this year. I found their service as usual to be quick, efficient and friendly. Prices were kind of all over the place (its an auction format) and shipping was fair and could be combined to great effect. The only thing VIP still has issues with are prices being run up and walked away from. Although they have promised with ebay to address this I still see the same problems happening. Last week many items from Hercules were relisted so the problem still prevails. If the items are being not paid for….you can bet your dollar that items are being run up which you may have won.

Number 2 is Screenused with 8 votes and 21% of the vote. Comments from Monkey 82 included “Screenused always has a fun catalog & site to check out and find stuff.  The crew is always professional and helpful. Gotten a few items from their sites this year.” The only issue I have with Screenused is that the site has suffered with the addition of the auction. The best items are being withheld for that, and then if they don’t sell are listed on the site after. I understand that this is beneficial to the bidders who want to spread out the payment but it has made many people go from checking the site dailiy to a lot less. Whytestarline said “For a company with two employee’s, Desi and Jeff get it done and without error.”  I completely agree…the only reason they aren’t number 1 is…..

The Juggernaut that is The Propstore with 22 votes (58%) of the vote. With a huge auction under there belt this year…more followers on facebook than any other company by a mile, and some of the best employees not called Jeff and Desi its easy to see why they run away with this years top honor. No other company systematically has new items to buy 5 times a week, a warehouse of items to buy if you visit and a long payment plan if you don’t have the dough. Comments follow….

Propstore had the Rush and Pacific Rim online auctions along with their first live auction which was incredibly well put together and executed, plus their usual year round selection and great serviceMartlist

No one beats them in terms of both quality and quantity of items. They are the number one dealer, and I imagine will be for some time. Whytestarline

But of course with the poll and only 10 spots I do apologise to David at Propmasters for leaving him out. An oversight on my part which shouldn’t denigrate the wonderful work he does with his business. Other people rightly stood up for The Prop Gallery and Hollywood History that just because they hadn’t done much business with perhaps the people who voted are still are bringing good items to the hobby.

Question two asked was “What’s your favorite forum to get prop and costume info from?”

Yes I did include thepropstop (following a rule that those who ask for a vote rarely get voted on) but I wasn’t surprised to see the RPF getting 2 votes, followed by 36 for the MPF. I’m in good company though because apparently no one voted for The original prop blog which personally I always read….Colin Cantwell wouldn’t have been found if not for Jason, so personally I think this one wasn’t really on the nose. I know for a fact people are looking at that blog but there you go. Come to think of it I get 400 hits a day on the propstop wordpress page but Ill leave it alone till next year.

Question three was favourite employees and yet again the vote was split pretty much 50/50 with Propstore and Screenused. Again im hardly surprised….but it was good to see Shelly from VIP getting a vote, Wes at Hollywood History getting 2 votes and GC and Propgallery getting a vote each. Premiereprops at 0 though. I did get a nice email from a gentleman who got his prop he bid on in less than two weeks so kudos to them for that. Keep it up!

So then what were my awards for the best auction this year. Well for me there were a multitude to chose from. Certainly the best overall event was a tie between Propstores October sale and the Profiles event. Good prices were obtained from both but the reason Propstore won was that the Profiles event for Narnia/Expendables etc became a bit of a dud for me, and include an item I supposedly won on the day not registering on profiles end…well….that kinda caused me to be a bit jaded with the whole thing.

Unfortunately Propstore did kind of drop the ball with the “Pacific Rim auction” that promised so much and delivered very little in affordable items….certainly many people I spoke to were very upset that the bidding on the exo suits went very over the top….and of course there were never going to be enough pieces like that to go around. The other items were all background pieces, large furniture etc which all in all kind of explained why the full list of items to sell wasn’t sent out earlier.

VIP had a good year with their Robocop sale, followed by Hercules and now tv fans are being tempted with rooms and rooms of “How I met your mother stuff”….which I know most members of our forums probably are not that interested in.

Screenused had a terrific end to the year with a great last auction which is good because the one earlier in the year was a bit of a disappointment with some low sell thrus overall as I addressed at the time.

Premiereprops continued their tradition of weekly sales and monthly events some of which had stunning pieces, BUT sometimes had clearly storebought items masquerading as items from Lords of the Rings, Harry Potter and Jaws?!?!? I think that they still need to do due diligence on some of these pieces overall, and definitely need to leave the comics, autographs, posters and animation out of their regular sales that can STILL go on for 10-11 hours. Its just too long. Also relisting the same items month after month doesn’t work. If they don’t sell then bundle them, or put them on ebay. Nuff said.

Another icollector auctioneer Horrordomain had some interesting items up this year but the quality can go up as well as down, and relisting items 3-5 months in a row just like PP doesnt’ work. I think Davids heart is in the right place though and I do like listening in to his sales. Im sure people would learn a lot from his insight so perhaps chatting more about the propworld during the auction would be of interest to some. He certainly has a lot to say.

So there you have it. A brief run down of my thoughts of the year. I will cover some of the best props to come out this year in the next few days so see you then.

 

“The Hunger Games” Catching fire Jennifer Lawrence leather jacket find

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After a quiet few months where basically if I bid on it I came in second FINALLY a really great find came my way this week.

eBay can be a very hard nut to crack with the sheer number of ex-VIP auction items, bad replicas and underwear sold by ex-wrestlers but occasionally you come across a gem.

Such was this week when I came across the following innocuous listing which I would normally skipped over as a non-event when you add in the lack of information, the low seller score and the poor to middling photos.

Original coat used in the filming of Catching fire, has the ID for Katniss in side of coat. Peoples Revolution NY,  Nicholas Jacket. In mint condition. Can provide proof of employment by studio.

In this case the thing that saved it for me was the bar coded label inside the jacket which proved to be the first step on an interesting road. Using the contact information readily available inside I emailed the production company and was able to not only get confirmation that the jacket had been hired but that the original jackets designer was able to confirm it was one of the jackets that he had made and sold thru his boutique to the production company.

Then just like other head tearing ebay finds more information started to come out from the seller such as “the proof of employment” wasn’t that he was just some studio clerk, but that he had actually been J.L.’s assistant during the movie in Atlanta where he lived and the film was shot partially. That email from Jennifer’s mother confirming his employment was icing on the cake, when taken with the other emails from the coats designer and the rental company.

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The jacket when viewed on BLU was used in a couple of scenes with Gale (Hemsworth) in the forest and then when he is whipped by the new head Peacekeeper Romulus Thread and Katniss and Haymitch save him.

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So what other interesting things came with this piece. Well the hand written tag with Katniss written on it was never going to be the smoking gun for me, although the fact that it was sewn in and not written in was a good start. It was actually upon receiving it that (as always) I checked the pockets and found what some of my best items have always had inside the pockets….candy. Something I had read that JL was very fond of despite her figure. What kind of candy I hear you ask? Starbursts!

Reason I found that funny is that costumes ranging from Brian Blessed’s from “Doctor Who” and Mikhail from “Lost” all had some kind of sweets in the pockets. Its kind of my go to if the item has actually been used and I suspect a lot of companies go thru the pockets to remove this lint and call sheet type stuff before its sold.

So there you go. A really nice item for a great price with solid provenance. My “Hunger games” wish fulfilled.

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The Propstore 2014 October Live auction of film and television artefacts at Vue Cinemas

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As promised here is a pure numbers look at the sale. 0.62 is current pound sterling value to the dollar

Number of items available in catalog: 378

Number of items unsold: 134

Number of items sold: 244

Lowest priced item that sold

Not 100% sure of this because of the propstore auction page being finickity but I believe it was the League of Extraordinary Gentleman poster for 50 pounds or roughly $80.00.

Highest priced 5 items in dollars NOT including fees

Hoverboard $36,450

Rush Lauder car $32,400

Thunderball tow sled $32,400

Death Proof car $32,400

Batmobile miniature “Forever” $32,400

Possible amount of money brought in from all 244 items if paid for:

In Pounds: 761,490

In dollars: $1,226,417

20% commission fee amount paid on all lots by bidders: $245,283 (152,298 pounds)

These numbers do of course not account for unsold lots, money not collected etc and my calculator errors…(lol).

At the end of the day one can see why Propstore entered the auction market. It is extremely lucrative, especially when you have good items to sell.

More on the auction over the next few days.