Darth Vader’s helmet raises charity funds in May the 4th auction


In an auction home far, distant (nicely, Bristol truly), the enduring energy of the power was clear.

A Darth Vader helmet bought for £2,200, greater than 5 instances the high estimate, and a signed image of Alec Guinness in his Obi-Wan Kenobi robes was snapped up for £3,100, treble what was anticipated.

Someone, someplace, paid £9,000 for a prototype lightsaber, the weapon of selection of Jedi knights in the Star Wars saga, which the Earthlings at East Bristol Auctions had judged would possibly convey in £80-£120.

Hundreds of things hoarded and picked up by David Prowse, the Bristolian who performed Vader in the authentic Star Wars trilogy, had been bought off in his house metropolis following his demise, aged 85, final 12 months. The auction raised a complete of £400,000.

Naturally the sale came about on May the 4th – a nod to the franchise’s iconic line “May the force be with you” – with a share of proceeds going to Alzheimer’s Research UK. Prowse died after a brief sickness having been dwelling with Alzheimer’s illness for a few decade.

A photograph of Luke Skywalker signed by Mark Hamill to David Prowse. Photograph: PA

The merchandise that attracted the highest value was Prowse’s The Empire Strikes Back script, which went for £23,000. The plot twist revealing Luke Skywalker’s true parenthood was omitted to maintain it secret.

It could also be no shock that the {hardware} – the helmets, the weapons – went for a lot. But there was clearly an enormous fascination in autographed footage.

An picture of Mark Hamill, who performed Skywalker, with Prowse went for £15,000. The curiosity might nicely have been the inscription (spoiler alert): “For David – You’ll Always Be ‘Dad’ Vader To Me.”

And a color nonetheless from The Empire Strikes Back signed by Prowse and James Earl Jones – who offered Vader’s voice – bought for £4,100.

Prowse as the Green Cross Code Man
Prowse as the Seventies highway security champion Green Cross Code Man. Photograph: Nigel Davies/More Th>n/PA

Vader was not Prowse’s solely job. He was identified to British kids of the Seventies as the Green Cross Code Man, a highway security champion in public info movies. His uniform went for £2,600.

The auctioneer, Andrew Stowe, described his pleasure as he rummaged by means of packing containers from Prowse’s house. “Every now and then I’d come across something special and it would send my brain racing,” he stated.

“In one box I’d find his Empire Strikes Back script, in another an actual piece of the Millennium Falcon, then a little deeper down I’d find a letter from Peter Cushing.”

Stowe added: “There were some truly out-of-this-world results today, we had over two thousand bidders competing for lots from all around the globe.

“The love for Star Wars is still as strong as it was back in 1977 – and today’s auction was proof of that.”

The auction home and Alzheimer’s Research UK stated they had been delighted. Tim Parry, the director of the charity, stated: “The response to the auction has been simply incredible and testament to the iconic role David brought to life in one of the biggest movie franchises of all time. Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of bids have been placed from around the world, helping to smash pre-auction estimates.

“We couldn’t be prouder to be associated with the auction and we can’t thank the Prowse family enough for deciding to donate a percentage of proceeds to help our search for breakthrough dementia treatments.”



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