Questions have recently been raised among collectors about attributions made on a Spider-Man costume described as “worn on screen in the 70’s TV Series SPIDER MAN“, which is slated to end at auction on eBay tomorrow morning. Prop dealer Star Wares today added information to the marketing description which, following research, would seem to indicate that the suit was not made for and used in the series, but a promotional suit used for publicity and advertising.
Below is an archive of the actual auction listing:
eBay Seller: starwarescollectibles
Auction Title: “SPIDER MAN Costume ON SCREEN 70s TV Series Retail $8000”
Noted Source/Provenance: “first in Christies sale in London in Dec 1997 catalog lot number 177”
eBay Item #: 350210157812
End Date: 06/11/09
Auction Result: Starting Bid $9.99, Currently $1,026.54
Full Auction Archive: “SPIDER MAN Costume ON SCREEN 70s TV Series Retail $8000“
eBay Auction Description Excerpt:
Here we go again, our A-Z Alphabet Sale. We have decided to continue our Alphabet Sale, starting with our better items first. I hope you are all very excited to see what we have to offer you and the best part is there is NO RESERVE. So please let us know if you have any questions.
Don’t Miss out on your chance to own a piece of Hollywood History!
Here we have The SPIDER MAN COSTUME
worn On Screen
in the 70’s TV Series SPIDER MAN.
This item comes with a CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY .
I have been aware of some questions raised about the use and attribution of this costume, and questions as to whether it is a costume made for and used in the production of the television series, or whether it is a costume that was made for use in publicity and promotion (and not worn in the series or seen on screen).
Today, the following additional information was added to the eBay marketing description by Star Wares, for the auction which ends tomorrow morning:
On Jun-10-09 at 08:13:28 PDT, seller added the following information:
Additonal Information This SPiderman suit sold first in Christies sale in London in Dec 1997 catalog lot number 177 it was the property of the Franklin Mint who intended to make a copy of it but never gained permission it then sold a couple years later to us at Star Wares for over 5000.00 at Bonhams and Butterfields sale with a half page write up It is made by the Eaves-Brookes Costume company although unlabeled for the actors comfort Only one we have ever seen on the market
With this information, I was able to reference my auction catalog database provided by PropCatalogs.com and found the details from one of the two the above referenced auctions (emphasis mine):
Christie’s South Kensington
Sale EPH-7836: Film and Entertainment
December 11, 1997
Lot 177. Spider-Man
A one-piece Spider-Man outfit, the close-fitting full bodysuit in royal blue and blood red stretch jersey, the res sections including the head, shoulders, lower arms, hands, front section and waist printed with a black spider web design, the front additionally printed in black with a large spider motif, the eye holes emphasized by a printed black outline and the back appliqued with a large red spider motif – the costume unlabelled but apparently made by the Eaves-Brooks Costume Company for publicity purposes to promote the 1970s T.V. Series Spider-Man; accompanied by a xerox of a letter of concerning the provenance and a corresponding colour still (3)
This description can be confirmed at Christies.com (sans the photo):
Bonhams.com also has an archive of the sale referenced by Star Wares in the eBay auction listing:
Below are excerpts from the Bonhams.com:
Bonhams Los Angeles
Sale 13312: Rock ‘n’ Roll and Film Memorabilia
November 20, 2005
Lot no: 2242 A Spiderman bodysuit
A one-piece Spiderman costume, the close-fitting full bodysuit in royal blue red stretch jersey. Costume unlabelled but apparently made by the Eaves-Brookes Costume Company for publicity purposes to promote the 1970s television series “Spiderman.” With a copy of a letter concerning the provenance and a corresponding color still.
Provenance: Property of the Franklin Mint; Christie’s South Kensington, London, Dec 11, 1997, lot 177.
Note that both Christie’s and Bonhams characterize the costume in the same manner (emphasis mine):
Costume unlabelled but apparently made by the Eaves-Brookes Costume Company for publicity purposes to promote the 1970s television series “Spiderman.”
This would contradict the Star Wares attribution of “ON SCREEN” in the auction title and “worn On Screen in the 70’s TV Series” in the marketing description.
Of course, in the hobby, there is a significant difference between “original” pieces made for and used in a production and their “publicity/promotional” counterparts, usually in quality and construction as well as value and desirability in the marketplace.
Star Wares was reported on earlier this week as a result of a rash of negative feedback from fellow original prop reseller Startifacts (see Startifacts vs. Starwares on eBay).