Original Star Wars X-Wing Fighter model sells for $2.3 million at auction

Records continue to be set in the world of entertainment memorabilia, those screen-used costume, prop, and set relics costing often tens of thousands of dollars to create, sometimes appearing only moments in a film or television production, later to be sold at auction for princely sums.  London and Los Angeles auction house Propstore knew it had an important prop when it took consignment of an original X-Wing Fighter model screen-matched to the original film Star Wars The auction house even printed a separate catalog from the full auction book that showcased photographs and use of the model (no doubt the book itself will be a collectible going forward).  As expected, Tuesday a new auction record for a screen-used model was set, with the X-Wing selling for a $1.9 million strike price, and with the buyer’s premium it reached the final sale price of $2.3 million.  The model was built in 1976 and 1977 from finalized designs that stemmed from the concept artwork of Colin Cantwell (featured here and here at borg), who died at age 90 only a month ago.  The price is an all-time high sale price for a Star Wars vehicle model.  Previous sales of screen-used models included the miniature filming model of the Rebel Blockade Runner spaceship from the opening scene of the original Star Wars that sold for $465,000, and a miniature filming model of a TIE Fighter that sold for more than $400,000.

We have covered previous auctions here at borg for higher selling items (like the original Robby the Robot in November 2017 that sold for $5.375 million), and this latest prop didn’t catch up with the pieced together R2-D2 that sold at Profiles in History’s June 2018 auction for $2.76 million, but it’s still impressive.  A Han Solo “non-firing” prop blaster from Return of the Jedi resulted in a $550,000 sale (including premium) in 2018, which followed a sale of a Luke Skywalker lightsaber said to have been used in The Empire Strikes Back, purchased for $450,000 (including premium).

No other major franchise touches Star Wars when it comes to auction prices paid for screen-used memorabilia, and the cream of the crop have been props associated with named characters.  Pieces of Star Wars costumes, some associated with the bankrupt Planet Hollywood restaurant chain, have sold at auction over the years, including a Chewbacca mask sold for $120,000 in 2007 at Profiles in History, C-3PO parts (like his head, for $120,000 in a 2008 Profiles in History auction), in addition to multiple Imperial troopers, Princess Leia’s slave outfit from Return of the Jedi (for $96,000 at Profiles in History in 2015), and the aforementioned R2-D2.  A Darth Vader mask from The Empire Strikes Back sold for a hefty $1.152 million (including premium) at Profiles in History in 2019.

Propstore is holding its auction multiple days this week, through June 24, in Los Angeles and online.  (All of the following prices are hammer prices–add the house’s buyers premium for the final total).  Other sales for Star Wars items Tuesday included a stick used by the Frank Oz puppet Yoda ($40,000), a cantina band member mask ($100,000), five Obi-Wan Kenobi lightsabers from the prequels (the highest selling at $85,000 and $100,000).

Star Trek saw its sales holding steady or moving upward with a Captain Janeway uniform from Star Trek Voyager and Captain Picard uniform from The Next Generation each hitting $30,000, a Captain Archer costume from Enterprise sold at $12,000, and a Next Generation tricorder hit $19,000, a Captain Lorca costume from Discovery sold for $14,000, and a Commander Burnham badge from Discovery sold for $18,000.

In other genre sales, a Wonderboy bat from The Natural sold for $110,000, a Wilson volleyball from Cast Away sold for $150,000 a stunt Mjolnir hammer from the first Thor movie sold for $130,000, several costumes and props from Aliens (including a weapon that reached $120,000), several props and costumes from the Terminator franchise (including an endoskeleton cyborg arm for $95,000), a Bill Mumy Will Robinson costume from Lost in Space sold for $40,000, from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the grail diary sold for $150,000 along with one of the grails, for $75,000, from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix a Gryffindor house robe sold for $11,000, a stunt Snake Plissken rifle from Escape from New York reached $27,500, a Batman speargun from Batman Returns for $100,000, two hero Back to the Future hoverboards (for $65,000 and $85,000), and several Gremlins franchise animatronics surpassed six figures apiece.

Learn more about the details of the X-Wing Fighter model and other lots at the Propstore website here.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg

One comment

  1. Wow!
    I have known of model builders who do excellent work and I have seen the finished projects.

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