Entertainment Memorabilia
18 Dec 2013
London, Knightsbridge

Rare Beatles album signed by the band makes £18,750

Rock and pop memorabilia stole the show at the Entertainment Memorabilia sale at Bonhams, Knightsbridge yesterday (18th December) which also saw strong prices for props and scripts from iconic film and television series.

The top lot in the sale was an acoustic guitar owned and played by Robert Smith, lead singer of The Cure, which was offered with estimates of £3,000-£5,000 but achieved £27,500 after a lengthy bidding battle on the telephones.

The Schecter signature RS-1000 acoustic guitar was personally donated to the Brighton based children's charity Amaze. The guitar was used throughout the band's 2008 World Tour and the body is signed and inscribed by Smith with the lyrics for 'That Boy I Never Knew', a song yet to be released.

Another sale highlight was, With the Beatles, a rare signed copy of the 1963 album signed by each member of the group which sold for £18,750. The signatures were obtained by the assistant stage manager at the Liverpool Empire when The Beatles were performing there. The dedication reads, 'To Barbara' (the manager's girlfriend at the time).

The force was strong with Star Wars memorabilia. A rare and important study mould for R2-D2's head used in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) sold for £16,250 – more than doubling its estimates. This pre-production plaster mould is offered by the engineer responsible for constructing the first ever R2-D2 robot for the film. When negotiating a fee with Lucas Film, the engineer was offered a choice of a flat hourly rate for the work or a percentage of the films takings. The contract was agreed at a flat hourly rate.

James Bond memorabilia from the estate of script writer Jack Whittingham performed well. £16,250 was paid for a collection of manuscripts, draft scripts and story treatments for the ill-fated 1958 project Thunderball which was collected during Whittingham's collaboration with Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory.

The Thunderball project did not come to fruition due to a difference of opinion between Fleming and McClory who parted ways shortly after. Nevertheless, Fleming went on to publish a fifth James Bond novel with the same name. According to McClory and Whittingham, this novel was loosely based on the story and screen play composed by all three. As Fleming failed to credit any other party in the publication, a bitter law case ensued. A number of Whittingham's papers included in this sale were used by the prosecution in the court case.

Two miniature and extremely rare original Yeti homing device props from the 1968 serial Doctor Who and The Web of Fear achieved a very large £14,375. Each tiny figure stands 11.5cm high and was estimated at £2000-3000.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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