The staff belonging to the wizard Saruman the White and the sword wielded by Aragorn, Ranger of the North, in “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” will be up for sale as part of the “There’s No Place Like Hollywood” auction of classic movie memorabilia this November.
In news that will have fans of Middle Earth all a-twitter from Mordor to the Shire, two of the most powerful and magical weapons feature in Peter Jackson’s Academy Award winning “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy—the wizard Saruman the White’s staff and the sword wielded by Aragorn, Ranger of the North—are to be offered for sale as part of the “There’s No Place Like Hollywood” auction of classic movie memorabilia by Bonhams and Turner Classic Movies this November.
These items, as well as a clapper board from “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”—the third of the three Ring movies—come from the collection of acclaimed actor Sir Christopher Lee, who portrayed Saruman.
Saruman’s metal staff, which stands over six feet tall and is topped by a pronged resin crown cradling a hand-blown glass orb, is expected to realize between $100,000 and $150,000, while Aragorn’s sword, “Andúril,” carries a much higher presale estimate of $150,000 to $250,000. (Photo: Bonhams)
“Since production finished on the set of the trilogy, I’ve treasured these important pieces of film history in my private collection,” said Lee, who has appeared in more than 200 films. He portrayed heroes, such as Sherlock Holmes, but excelled at being bad, taking up the role of the villain in many films, including Count Dracula, Frankenstien’s monster, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Rasputin, among others. “More than a decade has passed and I feel it is now time that someone else is able to enjoy their magic.”
Saruman’s metal staff, which stands over six feet tall and is topped by a pronged resin crown cradling a hand-blown glass orb, is officially expected to realize between $100,000 and $150,000, but no one can account for its final sales price, as competitive bidding by determined (and wealthy) J.R.R. Tolkien fans could push that price much higher.
The same can be said for Aragorn’s sword, “Andúril,” which carries a much higher presale estimate of $150,000 to $250,000. Designed by master swordsmith Peter Lyon—whose work can be seen in the Royal Collection of Her Majesty the Queen—is one of only four swords made for actor Viggo Mortensen for use on set in “The Return of the King.” This is the only one of the four to come onto the market, as the remaining three swords reside in private collections. The sword was presented to Lee after the production in gratitude for his contribution on set.
The sword will be sold with a document thanking Sir Christopher—accomplished swordsman with exceptional knowledge of Tolkien’s works—with “… a special acknowledgement of the friendship, camaraderie and learned knowledge that he brought and shared during the production of these films.”
The third item from Lee’s collection is the clapper board which wrapped the last scene Lee filmed as Saruman in “The Return of the King.” It is expected to realize $6,000 to $8,000.
“It is an honor and a pleasure to offer this property at auction,” said Dr. Catherine Williamson, director of Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams. “We look forward to seeing the items on view in our New York salerooms, alongside other classic movie memorabilia from legendary productions like ‘Casablanca,’ ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘Gone with the Wind.’”
TCM and Bonhams held their first combined auction last November in an auction called “What Dreams Are Made Of: A Century of Movie Magic at Auction as Curated by Turner Classic Movies.” The highlight of the auction was a record-setting bid of more than $4 million for the Maltese Falcon statuette prop from the movie of the same name.
Gregory Watkins is the editor of WorthPoint.com You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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