2001: A Space Odyssey suit and Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 control stick each sold for $370,000

Art Daily
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The spacesuit was estimated to fetch between $200,000 and 300,000.
The spacesuit was estimated to fetch between $200,000 and 300,000.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Julien’s Auctions had liftoff of its two-day blockbuster Hollywood and Space exploration memorabilia event Hollywood: Legends & Explorers, Friday, July 17 & Saturday, July 18, 2020 at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills and live online at juliensauctions.com.

Over 900 items from Hollywood entertainment film lore to television’s past and present golden ages as well as a collection of some of the most significant and historical Space artifacts went under the hammer with fans and collectors from around the world bidding on the floor, online and by telephone. The headline making highlight was the sale of one of the most iconic space suits of all time from the Academy award winning science fiction masterpiece, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The suit, accompanied by the film’s famous helmet and believed to have been worn by the film’s star, Keir Dullea, as mission pilot and scientist Dr. David Bowman, in the film’s memorable faceoff scene with “HAL,” sold for an astounding $370,000 well over its original estimate of $200,000. Items from the film’s production rarely come to auction as most of the production props and wardrobe were destroyed after the film’s production wrapped making this suit one of the most sought-after screen-used props and costumes for high end collectors. This near complete spacesuit has been in controlled storage for the past two decades since it was first purchased at auction in 1999 and comes with its original MGM shipping crate.

A historic pieces used on the Apollo 11 and 17 missions was a marquee highlight of the weekend including two pilot control sticks from the NASA Apollo 11 flight to the moon, one used by Neil Armstrong which sold for a stunning $370,000, over three times its original estimate of $100,000 and the other used by Buzz Aldrin, which sold for $256,000. A complete original tool kit flown on Apollo 17 during the last mission to the moon sold for $102,400, well over its estimate of $20,000 as well as an Apollo era spacesuit glove designed for Armstrong that sold for $76,800, over seven times its original estimate of $10,000.

Other top highlights included (with winning bids): a David Hasselhoff signed KITT Knight Rider 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am used in tours and appearances promoting the popular Knight Rider television series ($192,000); an original wire & Zoptic flying and mechanical cape worn by Christopher Reeve in his iconic role as the Man of Steel in the Superman film franchise, Superman I, II and most likely III, sold for $110,000, over five times its original estimate of $20,000; an original tobacco pipe used by Sir Ian Holm Cuthbert CBE (Ian Holm) as the hobbit Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ($28,200); items from Marilyn Monroe including her water color still life titled “Viewed from a night table” which sold for $21,875, over twenty times its original estimate of $1,000, Joe DiMaggio’s copy of Marilyn Monroe’s eulogy and funeral service program sold for $24,320, over twenty-three times its original estimate of $1,000, Monroe’s black silk “Bergdorf Goodman” ($28,125) evening gown and swimsuit costume from her film There’s No Business Like Show Business ($10,240); items from Wentworth Miller, including his Acqua brand wristwatch, one of few in existence and a key prop and plot point used in his portrayal of Michael Scofield on “Prison Break” ($19,200 twenty-four times its estimate of $800), Miller’s Princeton University class ring and “Warrior” T-shirt, each sold for an astounding $18,750; Sheriff McClelland’s rifle from Night Of The Living Dead ($12,500); Geena Davis’ costume of her iconic black T-shirt with skull graphic, Wrangler jean jacket and Guess jeans worn in her Oscar nominated role as Thelma in Thelma & Louise ($10,240); Paul Newman’s Sparco brand race suit worn in the 2000 Rolex 24 where Newman became the oldest person to drive in a sanctioned event, for which he was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records (estimate: $10,240) and more.

Another special highlight of the weekend was Property from the Collection of Steve Martin, featuring items from the distinguished career of the acclaimed American actor, comedian, writer, playwright, producer, musician, and composer including Martin’s signed script from the 1979 hit comedy film The Jerk which sold for $25,600, more than eight times its estimate of $3,000; Martin’s distinctive three-piece Giorgio Beverly Hills By Brioni white suit that became a trademark for his stand-up act and is one of only three such suits that the star would ever wear ($22,400); a Gibson Mastertone banjo gifted to Martin by Queen Latifah, his co-star on the 2003 comedy Bringing Down the House ($11,250); Martin’s stage played “Toot Uncommons,” 1976 Gibson Flying V solid body electric guitar with its groovy-print strap ($19,200); a wood three-pronged silver and black spear prop used by Martin as Freddy Benson in the film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels that sold for $10,000, twenty-five times its original estimate of $400 and more. Martin’s proceeds from the auction will benefit The Motion Picture Home in honor of his friend Roddy McDowall, the late legendary stage, film and television actor and philanthropist for the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Country House and Hospital.