This is an additional update to these articles:
Part of the purpose of all major studio costume and prop departments is for renting ( “reusing” )props and costumes on future movies or TV shows. That has been a common practice for decades. Normally the Hero weapons and costumes are custom made for the feature as in 300. Upon close examination of the movies Troy/Alexander/300 you will spot numerous reusing of props/costumes. The shield/armor shown by PiH in their current auction is an example dual identity props used in 300. I understand your position is that a prop with dual movie credits belongs to the original movie. In conjuction with your philosophy of documenting the heritage of a particular prop. Why not recommend that all movie credits be listed as part of the props heritage. However should it not ultimately enhance the value of that prop, since the producers of both movies included it in their work of art.
Thanks for the comments and insights, David, I appreciate it. Your insights as a dealer that sells from Troy and Alexander and many other Warner Brothers properties is a great contribution to the topic.
The one point that warrants more discussion, in my opinion, is the last sentence above. Using the current example, 300 was considered a surprise hit while both Troy and Alexander were critical and commercial failures by comparison. I think prop demand and values would relate to this directly. As such, a sword from 300 would, I believe, command a higher price than the same sword would from Troy.
As with much in this hobby, it all comes down to provenance and authenticity, which leads directly to the outstanding question I had from the start, restated in the last update: If anyone has any insights into ways in which to differentiate or determine which props similar to two or more productions were used in one or the other or both, I would be interested in learning that as well.
For collectors, the danger is in buying a piece believing it is used in one specific film without true provenance demonstrating the employment of the piece.
Of course, there isn’t an easy answer to this question. I would think remarkable provenance would be required to guarantee specific use – an officially sanctioned studio reseller or some substantive paperwork or relationship for the original seller. Of course, once things enter the marketplace, any resale piece will have that much more scrutiny placed on it, if the pieces are, in and of themselves, identical, regardless of use.
Any further input from any interested parties on this topic is very welcome. I appreciate those who have come forward with contributions and insights.
Jason De Bord