Philip Weiss auction “Pop culture and Rock and roll” sale January 20th 2012 Review Part 1

So today was a pretty amazing auction tucked away in the “small time” auction houses of America. I found it completely by accident last night in fact and spent a swift 24 hours appraising the items, finding them in previous auction catalogs like Butterfields Dec 1993 and then the Planet Hollywood Sothebys 2002 auction thanks to the very useful data collected by our own “Propcatalogs” where you can buy years worth of collecting prices and photos for the price of a shiny coin. I thoroughly recommend the database if you are a serious collector and we will have an interview with the man behind the “beast” of information next month!

So what were my feeling on the event. First of all I know alot of people are disappointed they didn’t know about it BUT seriously. As a collector what do you do? If you tell everyone about it then your doomed from the start…it really is one of those situations where because people had not bid proxy bids early…in fact most costumes were under $100 that I just thought, “darn it…I might get some cheap stuff”…although in the case of the Fozzie bear (which I had done most of the research on) I already knew that on the Muppet forums there was going to be at LEAST two potential big hitters.

Kermie baby 47 on the forums was very helpful in giving out this info:

“Wow! Didn’t they build the photo Muppets in the Muppet Workshop in NYC, right alongside the Muppet puppets? The tag does read “made in the U.S.” What a find!

His clothing looks like he could have been made for either Rocky Mountain Holiday promo shots, or maybe for one of the Viewmaster reel series (which are extremely awesome!). The rips and tears shouldn’t be a problem for the high bidder, minor stuff. The inner damage they mentioned (probably foam deterioration) could be more involved, but Fozzie’s definitely worth it! Find or make him a hat and tie (or with his clothing, a tie probably isn’t necessary), and he’d be perfect!” :D

What did confuse me was that one of the potential bidders age was 14…..but having realized that may have been a fence, or his parents paying I penciled it in as an item I wanted…then spent many hours trying to match it. Here is the result.

So both these use the Photo Muppet props which are non screen used props made in NY. There is a fabulous wiki about these here. But at the end of the day this was not in my opinion screen used. Advertising used….view master used….and…..calendar used as seen above.

The puppet was in fairly bad condition but could easily have been repaired.

Notice the word PHOTO inscribed inside the neck

I really thought I had a chance on this at $12,000 but unfortunately I dropped out at $15,000 and bidding  continued to $23,000 plus commission. Worth it? Shrugs. To my knowledge the only full Muppet ever to come to auction from the classic Henson Series. Sure…we have seen bits from “Labyrinth”, “Fraggle Rock” and lesser productions…but aside from the half Fozzie in a London Museum this is the only privately held Muppet that I know of…and trust me….I did the research.

Amazing to see a real tag from Hensons on this...MM II stands for "Muppet movie 2" or "The great Muppet Caper" for which this photo puppet would have been made for circa the early 1980's

MA BEAR inscribed hat for the character below...Fozzies Mom...which came with the lot.

Im also VERY surprised this made it past the lawyers at Disney and Hensons….but….then again I’m not…I think it just went under their noses.  I had heard that previous attempts to sell a Kermit and Fozzie before (although maybe not this one) had not gone as smoothly once the “Mouse” discovered the affair.

So what else sold at the auction? Well as you know there was some amazing stuff considering it wasn’t “Profiles” or “Christies”.  The next item I had set my sights on was the “Indiana Jones” lots. Here are the items in 2002 at the Profiles Sothebys auction.

"The Bounty" costumes for Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins, and "Indiana Jone and the last crusade" Sean Connery and Harrison Ford

So? Why research the items? Because sadly I think a few of these items had slipped thru the net. I can hardly blame this auctioneer as it happened to Bonhams a few years ago with similar items from “Angels” where “Indy” stuff marked for the third chaper was sold for low…and high prices….but was possibly not screen used….it was just marked for production. That will all be in an article down the road but for now if you care to see go to Liveauctioneers and search “Last Crusade” at Bonhams of London and make your own mind up.

Now in this case we know the Harrison Ford with labels in each piece came from “Angels” Costume house of London who had purchased “Bermans and Nathans” many years ago…that is why you have relabeled items in the picture below.

label inside Indiana Jones grey suit at Weiss auction

Its just when I reviewed the DVD, in 2012 the best way to screen match, I couldn’t find the costume…..anywhere….in my opinion. Thus if I don’t see it in the movie…its not screenused. Nuff said. Sadly when the original piece was listed at Sothebys in 2002 I think the labels may have been taken as “red” and not thoroughly checked plus the only viewing option was VHS!!!

This waistcoat is clearly not seen in the movie either…it has a very specific button placement….but is still very cool. If the costume had matched it would have been from the Venice Sequence…including the rats and the tomb. Selling price…..$2500….previous 2002 selling price $4780. Ho-hum.

Harrison Ford vest

So, knowing this the Connery made me suspicious. I did alot of work on this piece. Did you know that on 6th March 2007 this costume sold for 600 pounds below.

A brown two piece tweed suit,<BR>labelled inside Bermans & Nathans, 40 Camden St., London, NW1 inscribed S. Connery

….and then this piece a few minutes later went for 22,000 pounds!!!!

A two piece tweed suit and hat,<BR>the two piece suit of brown herringbone tweed, jacket with brown silk lining and brown plastic buttons, both jacket and trousers labelled inside Bermans & Nathans, 40 Camden Street, London NW1, jacket stamped SEAN CONNERY HENRY 9340 INDIANA JONES III, the trousers stamped to label SEANCONNERY INDY III PC.NO 9998, the hat of brown and black tweed, this lot is sold together with a Premiere Brochure from the film

Yeah….I didn’t get it either. The color looked wrong, there was only one suit worn in the film….the questions just kept coming. So I checked the DVD.

So what did we have. Inconsistent coloring….completely the wrong hat (thanks to a video from Propstore of their hat) seen below….a chain of metal for the watch instead of cloth, no tags in the costume apart from the waistcoat, no tag in hat, wrong hat color, no markings on glasses (although they were theatrical glass lenses) and on…and on.

Propstores awesome hat with tag, correct color and matching pattern

So…what did I surmise. The costume could have been another one made for production and not used, given to Planet Hollywood for display who promptly displayed it with a green shirt (wrong!!!!) and replica (ie close) glasses, the wrong bow tie (should have been green spotted) and a “this is close enough” hat. Planet Hollywood 2002 price $6871….price today $5500.

So whats the surprise there. Well I was the underbidder taking it up about 3k….why? I had too..had a feeling. But at the end of the day the research led me to a place where I was 50-50 on it. Something to learn here folks.


My point will be clearly shown next in my only purchase of the day. I actually didn’t know much about the film “The Bounty” until last night when I youtubed the following clip…and was pretty blown away by an amazing performance by one Anthony Hopkins.

Pretty cool hey. Im certainly a fan of this film just from this performance. I had also heard that the beautiful costume worn in the film  worn by Mel Gibson had sold at Debbie Reynolds “Profiles”for some $22,000 dollars plus buyers premium.

Now this costume attributed to Anthony Hopkins at Sothebys Planet Hollywood 2002 originally went for $4182 but it looks like at that point it had the hat according to the picture above.

Here is the tag.

I surmise that the costume since at first glance doesn’t seem to match any photo evidence I have found, or youtube footage that it may either not be Hopkin’s coat or may have been altered. To further confuse events items from the Marlon Brando “Mutiny” ended up at “Angels” and so another question to ask…where these costumes used in both movies?  If you have any ideas I’d love to know. When I get the costume in hand I will be doing a full review…until then conjecture.

The Bounty 1984

Thats it for now…..tomorrow we will wrap up with the items I wasn’t so interested in including a beautiful Laurel and Hardy piece for $4750!


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