I was sent a picture of this imperial gunner helmet that was sold at Christies in 2002 as I’m currently doing another article on a private UK collection that will be coming to auction soon and one of the items is one of these helmets. Interestingly enough I was not aware Andrew Ainsworth had original pieces when I met him in the mid 1990’s.
Here is the listing:
Above from the same Christies Auction a “Prop Imperial Forces helmet, the aerodynamic shaped helmet of black painted vacu-formed plastic, with simulated receiver and aerial to the left ear and clear plastic eyepiece strip — made for the 1977 20th Century Fox / Lucasfilm production Star Wars; accompanied by a letter concerning the provenance. Similar helmets can be seen in the sequence where Princess Leia undergoes interrogation by the Imperial Forces to induce her to reveal the location of the rebel base. They are worn by the Imperial officers who are ordered to destroy the planet Alderaan“. It sold for $26,360
From accounts the general feeling is the one sold in 2002 might be a prototype as the one shown at the Lucasfilm archives is a little different, here shown with a fibreglass gun tower from the Deathstar.