Smashing its $30,000 to $50,000 (£26k-43.5k) estimate, this bladed glove insert worn by Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands fetched $65,000 (£56.6k) at auction on 21 June.
Sold by Propstore, the dangerous-looking prop is thought to have rocketed in value following Johnny Depp's defamation trial.
The iconic purple suit worn by Jack Nicholson's villanous Joker in Tim Burton's Batman fetched $125,000 (£108.4k) when it was sold at auction earlier this year.
The bespoke seven-piece outfit includes a suit by Savile Row’s Tommy Nutter, a Dobbs hat, Robot boots, and a Christian Dior tie. The value of the stylish suit skyrocketed as the hat had white make-up worn by Nicholson on the brim, while the boots contained set residue.
This prop axe was used by Jack Nicholson's character in the terrifying "Here's Johnny" scene in The Shining. As one of the most iconic pieces of horror movie memorabilia, it fetched an impressive $175,000 (£152k) at auction this year.
The dangerous-looking prop, which is actually made from foam and resin, was bought by an anonymous fan of Stanley Kubrick's chilling classic.
In November 2021, Will Ferrell's iconic Buddy the Elf costume from the Christmas classic Elf sold for $235,000 (£204.5k) at a Propstore auction in London.
The outfit, which includes labels saying "Mr. Ferrell," sold for almost 10 times its estimated sale price.
In 1962, the late Sean Connery was the first actor to bring Ian Fleming’s James Bond to life in the first 007 movie, Dr. No. And so, when a Walther PP handgun used by Connery during the film went up for sale in Beverly Hills in December 2020, it was expected to sell for a high price. In fact, the pistol prop exceeded all expectations...
The winning bidder, who asked to remain anonymous, paid $256,000 (£222.6k) for the deactivated gun – higher than the $150,000-$200,000 (£130.5k-£174k) estimate. The collector’s value of the prop was likely inflated after Connery passed away at the end of October 2020 aged 90.
Considered by many to be one of the best sci-fi films of all time, Ridley Scott's cult classic Blade Runner is still renowned for its futuristic sets and props. The blaster gun used by Harrison Ford's character Deckard to eliminate the humanoid replicants is one of Hollywood's most sought-after pieces of movie memorabilia.
The original prop was constructed from a combination of parts from a Styr Mannlicher .222 Model SL and a Charter Arms Bulldog revolver. It sold for $270,000 (£234.9k) at an auction event in 2012.
Often considered a star of the 2000 desert island film Cast Away, despite being an inanimate object, one of the volleyballs that Tom Hanks' character Chuck Noland finds in a washed-up package and christens 'Wilson' sold for $308,000 (£268k) at a Propstore auction in London.
This Wilson has been painted to enhance the effect of it being stuck on the island, and it also spent a long time being filmed in water, which is why it's slightly warped. It sold for nearly four times its estimate.
The 1997 film version of the 1912 sinking of the Titanic continues to bring viewers to tears to this day. Props emblematic of Jack and Rose’s tragic love story are eagerly sought out by fans seeking to own a piece of the story, and have sold for hundreds of thousands at auction.
The red dress worn by Kate Winslet's Rose when she goes to throw herself overboard went up for auction in 2012. The so-called "jump dress" fetched an impressive $330,000 (£287k) because of its intricate detail and its iconic nature.
This iconic lightsaber was used by Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker and Alec Guinness' Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. The early lightsaber was made from the tube of an old Graflex camera handheld flash, and during filming, a wooden pole was placed where the blade was meant to be.
The pole was doused in a special projection paint so that the special effects team could add the glow (more recent films have substituted CGI). The makeshift prop sold for $450,000 (£391.6k) in 2017.
James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day is considered to be one of the best sequels ever made. The computer-generated imagery, especially that of Robert Patrick's liquid-metal T-1000 enemy cyborg, laid the groundwork for much of the movie magic we’ve come to take for granted in modern blockbusters. However, it is one of the film's animatronic props that has generated the most cash at auction...
This full-scale T-800 endoskeleton, used in the opening scene of the film to tramp over a wasteland littered with human skulls and debris, sold for $488,750 (£425.6k) at a California auction in 2007. The model has the only real metal feet made for any of the films and red eyes that light up.
The famous fedora hat worn by Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark was sold for $524,000 (£456.4k) in 2018 via Prop Store in London.
The iconic hat features Ford’s signature on its inner band, and its design was a joint effort by Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas.
It's one of the most famous opening scenes in Hollywood history: Holly Golightly – played by Audrey Hepburn – emerging from a bright yellow taxi onto a deserted Fifth Avenue in New York. She nibbles a pastry while looking in Tiffany's shop window, wearing "the most famous little black dress of all time".
The black dress, designed by French designer Hubert de Givenchy, was sold at an auction in London for $590,420 (£514.3k) in 2006 by author Dominique Lapierre.
Marilyn Monroe is one of the most iconic Hollywood stars in history, so it's no surprise that costumes and props from her movies sell for big money at auction. This sequinned tiger-print gown, which Monroe wore on the set of The Seven Year Itch, was no exception when it sold at Heritage Auctions in November 2020.
Designed by renowned costume designer Travilla and complete with a handwritten name label from the film's costume department, the gown sold for $593,750 (£517.1k).
Many of the movie props on this list aren't one-offs, as multiple versions were made for filming. Truly one-of-a-kind items can command much higher prices at auction – and that was certainly the case for the phaser rifle used by William Shatner for his debut appearance as Captain Kirk in Star Trek: The Original Series.
Appearing in the third-ever Star Trek episode to be aired on TV, Where No Man Has Gone Before, this rifle sold for $615,000 (£535.3k) in November 2021.
The eponymous car driven and flown by Caractacus Potts in the musical adventure was designed by Ken Adams and manufactured by Alan Mann Racing in 1967. A total of six Chitty Chitty Bang Bang cars were produced for filming, including an engine-less version for the trailers, a car for the flying scenes, a car for the transformations, and a smaller version for driving scenes.
However, only one was a fully functioning, road-worthy car with a genuine UK registration. This was sold for $805,000 (£700.5k) to Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson in 2011, coming under its $1 million (£870.2k) suggested sale value. He now uses it as a fundraising vehicle.
Star Wars lovers swarmed to a Los Angeles auction in September 2019 when the Empire Strikes Back Darth Vader fibreglass mask went up for sale through Profiles in History.
The mask had an estimated sale price of $500,000 (£435k), but experts were stunned when the helmet sold for nearly twice that, at $900,000 (£783k). An anonymous buyer is now in possession of the iconic item.
When you think of Steve McQueen, perhaps the most iconic images that pop into your mind are from The Great Escape (1963) or Bullitt (1968). However, the most expensive prop linked to the 'King of Cool' is the driving suit he wore as Michael Delaney in Le Mans.
One of the three surviving suits was sold in 2011 for $984,000 (£856k). Amazingly, it had been owned by Timothy Davies from Wolverhampton, England for 40 years after he had won it in a newspaper competition.
The Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me is one of the more elaborate cars conceived in the James Bond franchise. The submarine car was designed by Perry Oceanographic and was fully capable of operating underwater. However, actor Roger Moore was not the one who drove it in the sea – it was operated by an ex-Navy Seal.
It sold for $997,000 (£867.3k) in 2013, with the buyer none other than billionaire Elon Musk.
Never underestimate the dedication of the Star Wars fandom. A prop gun that Harrison Ford’s space smuggler Han Solo used in 1977’s Star Wars was expected to fetch between $300,000 (£261.6k) and $500,000 (£436k) at auction this September, but sold for more than $1 million (£872k).
The "blaster" gun is actually a converted Mauser pistol that was modified to only shoot blanks. Just three prop blaster guns were created for the sci-fi flick, with this model being the only one to survive filming. So, the one-of-a-kind item will no doubt take pride of place in a lucky film buff’s collection.
The Sound of Music came out in 1965 and went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time, surpassing then-record holder Gone with the Wind. It held the title for five years. The outfits that Maria, who was played by Julie Andrews, makes from old curtains for the seven Von Trapp children are recognised all over the world, and coveted by collectors as a result.
The costume designer, Dorothy Jeakins, received an Oscar nomination for her work on the now-classic film. Although the iconic Do-Re-Mi outfits were indeed made from real curtain material, they sold for $1.3 million (£1.1m) in 2013. The hills were alive with the sound of money that day.
It’s believed that actress Judy Garland had 10 pinafore dresses for her role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, and when one of two that were actually worn during filming went up for sale in 2015, it certainly caught bidders’ attention.
The blue gingham dress fetched well over its estimate when it sold for $1.56 million (£1.3m), and even came with sweat stain marks around the neck.
Another serious money-maker from The Wizard of Oz were the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland, of which only five pairs are known to survive. The last pair to sell at auction in 2012 went for $2 million (£1.7m), bought by Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg to donate to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Intriguingly, another pair, which had been stolen during a break-in to the Judy Garland Museum in 2005, was discovered by police in September 2018.
Yet another iconic Star Wars prop, this X-Wing fighter craft, sold for almost $2.4 million (£2m) in June.
The one-of-a-kind miniature model was used on-screen in A New Hope and is the only pyromodel that survived filming. The others were destroyed by pyrotechnics during nail-biting scenes in which they faced off against the deadly Death Star ship.
Another pricey piece from the film was the cowardly lion costume worn by Bert Lahr, which was created from real lion skin and fur and weighed in at almost 60lb (27kg), which made it incredibly hot to wear under the intense studio lights.
After the film was done and dusted, the costume was collected by a member of the film crew, who believed it would make a great Halloween costume. But it sat in a bag in his house for years, and time took its toll. After its rediscovery, the costume had to be restored by 21 artisans over a period of two years before it was sold at auction for $3 million (£2.6m) in 2014 at Bonhams.
One of the most famous instruments in the world, the piano that Ingrid Bergman stood next to when she delivered one of Hollywood’s unforgettable lines – "Play it, Sam. "Play As Time Goes By" - is one of the world's most valuable movie props.
The short little upright from Rick’s Café Américain in the movie Casablanca was hardly a grand piano, but it certainly demanded a grand price at auction. Sam’s Piano was sold for $3.4 million (£2.9m) at a 2014 auction in New York.
The Ascot dress and hat worn by Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady were sold at auction in 2011 for a whopping $3.7 million (£3.2m). The Edwardian-style white and black lace dress with black bow detail was designed by the legendary Cecil Beaton, who served as both costume designer and art director on the film, roles that subsequently won him Academy Awards in both categories.
The costume was worn during the musical number Ascot Gavotte, which features Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Hepburn) out in high society for the first time. The outfit was sold as part of a collection by actress Debbie Reynolds, who collected over 3,500 costumes from films throughout Hollywood history in the hope of one day creating a museum.
One of the super-stylish Aston Martin DB5s driven by Sean Connery as James Bond in the film Goldfinger was sold at auction for $4.1 million (£3.5m) in 2010. The car, known as the 'Road Car', was one of two Aston Martins that EON Productions was given for use and was for regular driving.
However, it was then equipped with all the special spy gear and went on to appear in Thunderball.
Starring Humphrey Bogart as detective Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon is one of the true classics of the film noir genre. The lead statuette featured in the movie became one of the most expensive pieces of movie memorabilia ever when it sold for $4.1 million (£3.5m) to Las Vegas hotel and casino billionaire Steve Wynne at auction in 2013.
Some people have questioned whether the statuette is the real prop used in the film, as the actors apparently used plaster stand-ins as opposed to the 45lb (25kg) lead model. However, the prop in question was confirmed as having appeared in the film thanks to its bent tail feather, which can be seen at the end when Spade carries it out of his apartment. The slight damage occurred during filming when actress Lee Patrick dropped it while handing it to Bogart.
Featuring stunning visual effects and electronic sounds that were groundbreaking for its day, Forbidden Planet has become a sci-fi cult classic. The film follows the exploits of the C-57D, an earthship sent to Altair 4 to find out what happened to a colony mission sent there 20 years earlier. It was the first movie to be set entirely on another planet.
Robby, the seven-foot-tall robot from the 1950s adventure, sold at auction for $5.38 million (£4.7m) in New York in 2017. The lot also included the Jeep Robby drives on Altair IV, the auxiliary control panel, and his original MGM packing crates. After Forbidden Planet, Robby racked up more than two dozen film and TV credits, including The Invisible Boy, The Thin Man, and Lost In Space.
The most expensive movie costume ever is Marilyn Monroe’s iconic white dress from The Seven Year Itch, which was sold at auction in Los Angeles in 2011. Like Audrey Hepburn's My Fair Lady Ascot dress, it was part of Debbie Reynolds' amazing collection, which also included the headdress worn by Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra (1963) and a bowler hat once owned by Charlie Chaplin.
When costume designer Travilla picked the dress for Monroe, he didn't have a clue that she would stand over a subway grate and make movie history. The dress is so small that it couldn’t fit onto a modern Size 2 mannequin when it was attempted to be displayed, and in 1955 it had to be sewn onto the actress, much like most of Monroe’s costumes. These days, the dress itself has been reported to have slowly tarnished with time, fading from white into a yellowish brown colour.
Now take a look at music memorabilia that sold for a fortune