“Raiders of the Lost ark” Belloq’s head discovered

Perhaps one of my favorite pastimes is finding stuff squirreled away in peoples attics simply because I just don’t have enough money to buy at the “mega auctions” anymore. This isn’t a fault of the auction houses as such….but simply how the market has reacted over time. People want the best stuff and they are willing to pay for it.

BZEcquLCUAAQk0E.jpg largeNow searching all over the internet can be a fruitless, frustrating and thankless task. Sometimes months, years can go by with nothing particularly special showing up, but for me personally its been an exciting year with the “Live and Let die” bullet showing up, then the helmet from the “Abyss” and the “2 Guns” locker so it was nice to receive and email back from a California based contact selling items on behalf of a gentleman who had worked for ILM for a number of years in the optical department.

He as happens didn’t keep much but one of his pieces was very special being that it was from “Raiders of the Lost ark” and those kind of items don’t show up very often, if at all.

So some background. Here is the original UK I believe photo of Paul Freeman having his head casted for the end of the film.

mo_83The foam head was then sent to the USA for the ILM shots to be filmed in California. It seems that it didn’t end up being used for the final shots as an alginate head was required to be blown up by a shotgun and Chris Walas used the head and photos as reference rather than the finished article as the head had to be completely remade a layer at a time rather than cast. There were 3 of these alginate heads according to interviews and all were destroyed. below is a picture of the original mold made from the casting session above, and a finished pull.

mo_85The original plan for the head was for it to be “consumed by fire” before the decision was made to “blow it to hell” so since there is some small fire damage to the face it could have been used for this.

mo_87As can be seen in the above picture the finished alginate head ended up being more “sculpted” by freehand and unfortunately doesn’t resemble “Belloq” in the film as much as the original casting.

IMG_3796Here is the original C-stand hole on the bottom in the above photo. The original casting hole is in the top of the head.

IMG_3795The head is in the original condition used after using it in his office during production and being that its around 35 years old in pretty good shape. One of the only props kept from the career of this ILM employee who also worked on The Abyss, Star Trek, and The Last Crusade this is probably the only remaining piece from the climatic end of the film, aside from Richard Edlunds Tott skull that sold in Profiles in October 2009 for around $5500.

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