The year 2012 not only marked the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise, starting from 1962’s ‘Dr No’ to the release of Daniel Craig's 23rd Bond movie ‘Skyfall’, but also saw turned out as the standout year for the James Bond memorabilia. As die-hard James Bond fans and collectors got a chance to own exclusive Bond memorabilia, ranging from rare James Bond movie posters, to James Bond unwashed trunks worn in Casino Royale, James Bond Superyacht "Regina" from SkyFall, and the Chrisite’s Bond memorabilia auction which marks 50 Years of James Bond by offering 40 lots from the 23 Bond films. Now, a Walther air pistol LP Model 53 with serial number 054159 used by Sean Connery in publicity shots for four James Bond films from 1963 – 1967, and featured in ‘the most famous of all Bond images’, is estimated to garner up to $238,621 in Sotheby’s London sale on 12th Dec. Notably, the air pistol will be sold together with its original presentation case, letter of provenance and a letter reproduction photograph showing Sean Connery in unequivocal Bond pose, holding the gun.
Interestingly, it’s been reported that Sean Connery had to pose with a humble air pistol when someone forgot to pick up his Walther PPK automatic for the photo-shoot. And, the photographer David Hurn who was a keen target shooter, stepped in with his replica at the last moment. So, Hurn’s Walther was used in the final photos, despite its too-long barrel which was notably never airbrushed out during the designing of the actual poster.
One of the most important movie prop of James Bond films, the Walther weapon has been previously auctioned by the auction house Christies in its Popular Culture: Film and Entertainment sale on 25th Nov. 2010, for staggering $437,501. Despite being never used in any of the Bond films, the iconic air pistol realized the highest price of all memorabilia sold at the event. And, yet again, the notable 007 license to kill is going up on the auction block...a perfect gift for a collector.
UPDATE: The Walther PPK fetched $196,000 at Sotheby's London auction held on December 12, 2012.