November 26, 2010 in Nation/World

No takers for Darth Vader costume at auction

Associated Press photo

Christie’s employees walk past a Darth Vader costume on display during the “Popular Culture: Film and Entertainment” sale at the auction house in London on Thursday.
(Full-size photo)

LONDON – Auctioneers overestimated the power of the dark side.

An original Darth Vader costume from a “Star Wars” movie did not sell at auction Thursday when no bidder offered to pay the reserve price, Christie’s auctioneers said.

The outfit – a jet-black helmet, mask and armor – was expected to sell for $250,000 to $365,000. The reserve price is confidential but generally it is just under the minimum expected price.

Christie’s said bidding stopped at 150,000 pounds (about $236,500).

The costume is thought to have been made for “The Empire Strikes Back,” the second film in George Lucas’s sci-fi series, released in 1980.

The auction house’s head of popular culture, Neil Roberts, said the costume is one of the most iconic in the history of cinema.

Christie’s did not name the seller.

Meanwhile, a gun used in an advertising campaign for a James Bond movie was sold for more than 10 times its estimated value at Thursday’s auction. The Walther air pistol held by Bond actor Sean Connery in the poster for the 1963 film “From Russia With Love” was sold for $437,206 to an unidentified bidder, Christie’s said.

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