A Walther pistol wielded by Sean Connery as James Bond in the photo shoot used for the main image in the poster and advertising campaign for 1963′s From Russia With Love, sold for £277,250 ($437,000), easily surpassing predicted estimates.
The Walther air pistol was expected to sell for an between $23,600 – $31,500 but as the dust settled after some furious bidding it had reached an incredible $437,000, 14 times its original estimate. Part of Christie’s Popular culture: Film and Entertainment auction in London, the gun was the star lot amongst Star Wars and Superman memorabilia. But the gun itself was never meant for fame. It belonged to the photographer on the poster shoot, and was only used as a last resort when the original Walther PPK pistol didn’t turn up.
The sale shows the enormous strength of the market for Bond memorabilia. From Russia with Love is widely regarded as the fan’s favourite of the series, as well as Connery’s, and memorabilia from his outings as Bond have always proven the most popular. In fact the most expensive Bond related item comes from his third appearance as the super-spy, Goldfinger. The item in question is the 1965 Aston Martin DB5 driven in the film, featuring revolving number plates, ejector seat and a bullet-proof shield, which sold for an $4.1m earlier this year.