The Man With The Golden Gun: Rare replica of iconic James Bond film prop in Lichfield auction
A RARE replica of James Bond villain Francisco Scaramanga’s iconic golden gun is coming up for auction in Lichfield.
The 18ct gold-plated limited edition collectors’ piece is a 1:1 accurate recreation of the famous weapon from the 1974 movie The Man With The Golden Gun, starring Roger Moore as 007 and Christopher Lee as the titular assassin.
The reproduction also has the rare distinction of being #001 of just 1,000 released worldwide by Factory Entertainment in 2010.
Consigned by a Derbyshire film buff following a valuation at The Lichfield Auction Centre, it is due to go under the hammer with Richard Winterton Auctioneers as Lot 7 on Monday, October 23, estimated at £1,500 to £2,000.
Officially licensed by Bond film producers Danjaq LLC and EON Productions, the 9.5ins long non-firing replica is assembled from separate components just like the original prop – a fountain pen (barrel), cigarette lighter (chamber), cigarette case (grip) and cufflink (trigger).
In excellent condition, the reproduction is packaged in its original box along with display case, stand, all paperwork and single ‘golden bullet’ engraved ‘007’, again as seen in the film.
Vendor Tony Swift, a collector of film props and movie memorabilia, bought the piece from new in 2010.
“I’d heard they were being put on the market and saw it online,” said the 67-year-old from Ashbourne, pictured with the gun at the top of the page.
“When it arrived I couldn’t believe I had been lucky enough to get number 001.
“I did originally have it on display in its Perspex case in another cabinet – it’s never been out in the open or repeatedly assembled and disassembled – but for the past seven years it’s been sitting boxed up in a wardrobe, which seems a shame.”
Tony worked as a news photographer for 25 years in total, 13 of those on the Tamworth Herald newspaper, and also covered areas including Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Great Barr, Cannock, Burntwood, Lichfield, Rugeley, Polesworth, Atherstone and Coleshill.
An Australian ‘daybill’ cinema poster for The Man With The Golden Gun, also from Tony’s collection, follows the golden gun in the same sale as Lot 8.
Although he is a Roger Moore fan, these days Tony prefers the grittier 007 films of the Daniel Craig era.
“Craig or Connery are probably my favourite 007 actors but when it comes to vintage Bond movies I do have a soft spot for The Man With The Golden Gun,” Tony added.
“Christopher Lee was brilliant as Francisco Scaramanga and to this day remains regarded as one of the best Bond villains of all time, a genuine match for 007.
“He had some superb lines and of course he also possessed arguably the most iconic weapon in the entire series.”
In the original Ian Fleming book – his last James Bond novel, published posthumously in 1965 – Scaramanga used a gold-plated Colt .45 revolver.
But for the movie, filmmakers felt a weapon constructed from seemingly innocuous components carried by a wealthy 1970s man would be more visually striking.
It also helped create the famous ‘single shot’ plot device underlining Scaramanga’s deadly skill.
Three different golden gun props feature in the film – number one, the ‘Gimmick Gun’, which could be assembled and disassembled for close-up scenes; number two, a solid one-piece gun which did not break down into components and so proved more practical for action scenes and general filming; and number three, identical to number two but rigged to fire small explosive squibs to give the appearance of a working firearm.
Painstakingly created by measuring the surviving originals in the EON props archive and hand-finished, the facsimile is a highly accurate reproduction of gun number one, albeit with an orange plug on the barrel to comply with modern legal requirements for replica firearms.
“The replica is a stunning recreation of one of the series’ most iconic weapons, which continues to be part of the wider Bond-iverse thanks to its inclusion in 007 video games,” said auctioneer Richard Winterton.
“It would form the golden centrepiece to any collection of film memorabilia but is an especially impressive item for the serious James Bond enthusiast.”
The golden gun features as Lot 7 in Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ Antiques & Home Sale on October 23, starting at 9.30am at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park, WS13 8NF.
The catalogue can be accessed online via our www.richardwinterton.co.uk/auction-dates a week before the sale and viewing in person takes place at The Lichfield Auction Centre on Friday, October 20.
Watch a video of the golden gun being assembled here.
Free home visits for large collections and house clearance quotations are also available.