As a preface, I thought it appropriate to summarize the objectives of my ongoing series of articles about costumes in the marketplace attributed to use by Christopher Reeve in the Superman films of the 70s and 80s.
My intent is to both collect and share information, ask questions, and facilitate dialogue and discussion about Superman costumes in an attempt to help bring more clarity to the marketplace. In this regard, the Original Prop Blog is intended to benefit the hobby at large (collectors, dealers, auction houses, etc.) by sharing and examining information about what has been offered for sale publicly in the marketplace to date.
If something has been sold or offered for sale in the public marketplace, then I feel that public discussion, analysis, and scrutiny of such pieces is appropriate.
I have not stated in any article that I have published to date that any specific Superman costume is “fake” or inauthentic. A founding principle and philosophy of the Original Prop Blog (as explained in the “About the OPB” link at the top of every page) is that every prop or costume is “inconclusive” until proven authentic or proven inauthentic.
I have been respectful to all and published no personal determinations of “authentic” apart from the few costumes with paperwork from Warner Bros., due to the state of the marketplace in regards to this property.
My position is that an open, honest, on topic, and respectful collective discourse and exchange of information and ideas between all interested parties benefits everyone, and that this is an important and substantive topic of public interest and significance.
Building a Photographic Reference Archive
Last week a collector sent me a costume he acquired about 10 years ago that was described to him, at the time he purchased it, as an “Original Superman III Costume Worn By Christopher Reeve”. He has since acquired another Superman costume that he claims differs from this suit in very specific and significant ways.
This costume will be assigned the designation as the “Superman III Reference Costume”.
I noted a few personal observations about the costume itself from my own examination… The costume appears as if it is newly made. There are no wardrobe/asset tags, labels, or markings of any kind. There are absolutely no visible signs of use or wear or stretching. In fact, during the photo shoot, I pinned the cape on the wall using a push pin, and in pulling the pin out, it slightly snagged the material, making it seem very prone to damage and that much more remarkable that it is in perfect condition.
I thought it would be helpful to other hobbyists to catalog this piece by sharing and archiving a series of high resolution photos, to serve as a point of comparison with other suits and further discussion. Some of the full front photos are redundant, but styled in a few different ways to show how the same costume can appear different based on how it is dressed on a mannequin, using some poses/configurations as seen in photos in various auctions/offerings.
PLEASE NOTE: I make no personal statement, at the time of publication of this article, as to the authenticity of this specific costume.
A future article in this series will feature a comprehensive archive of notable and historical public offerings of Superman costumes from auction house events and other venues.
Please get in touch with me if anyone has 1) any auction house catalogs/information with Superman costume offerings and/or 2) high resolution photos/screen captures of Christopher Reeve from the Superman films, and/or 3) any other interesting information about original Superman costumes.
Jason De Bord
Additional Related Articles: Market Watch | Superman