Nate D. Sanders Withdraws “Prototype” Star Wars Stormtrooper Prop Helmet with Andrew Ainsworth Provenance from Upcoming Auction

July 28, 2014 by · 1 Comment 


Four days ago, Original Prop Blog published an article (LINK) noting the Daily Mail wrote a piece promoting a Stormtrooper helmet auction in the Nate D. Sanders auction concluding this coming Thursday.  The helmet had been described as a “prototype” from the original 1977 Star Wars film, with provenance from Andrew Ainsworth.  Original Prop Blog has published a number of articles about these “prototype” helmets sold into the marketplace over the years, and reported in June that Christie’s withdrew one of these from their auctions at the time.  Now, Nate D. Sanders has withdrawn this one from it’s own auction (though, as reported, it failed to sell in their March auction and in subsequent eBay auctions). Read more

Daily Mail Piece on Nate D. Sanders “Super-Rare Prototype” Stormtrooper Helmet from Andrew Ainsworth’s Work on Star Wars

July 24, 2014 by · 2 Comments 


The Daily Mail must be an easy get for a puff piece on movie prop memorabilia, going by their latest article on the “prototype” stormtrooper helmet being put up for auction (again) by Nate D Sanders this month.  It reads as though it was repurposed from the auction house material, without the benefit of any third party analysis or questions about the provenance of the item.  A similar helmet was pulled from auction by Christie’s last month, and their have been questions raised about the background of these “prototype” stormtrooper helmets attributed to Andrew Ainsworth’s work on Star Wars: A New Hope going back for years now. Read more

Update: Additional Images of Christie’s Withdrawn “Prototype” Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet

June 18, 2014 by · 3 Comments 


This is an update to the article published on Monday (see “Christie’s Withdraws “Prototype” Star Wars Stormtrooper Prop Helmet with Andrew Ainsworth Provenance from Upcoming Auction“).  As mentioned in that prior article, unfortunately, no images were provided of the sides and back of the helmet.  A friend in the UK previewed the upcoming Christie’s auction, and took photos of the “prototype” Storwtrooper prop helmet, which has since been withdrawn from their sale (#5446).  These additional images are important, in that the single image provided in the online lot description/catalog only included one “straight on” style image which did not show whether the lower, back side of the helmet had the “ribbed” decoration (a detail that most other “prototypes” have shared). Read more

Christie’s Withdraws “Prototype” Star Wars Stormtrooper Prop Helmet with Andrew Ainsworth Provenance from Upcoming Auction

June 16, 2014 by · 5 Comments 


Today Christie’s has withdrawn Lot 136 from their upcoming Sale #5446, a prop attributed to Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) and described as a “prototype Imperial Stormtrooper’s helmet“.   There has been ongoing public debate and controversy over movie prop Stormtrooper helmets trading for sale in the marketplace for years, and some of this debate and discussion intersected the legal battles between Lucasfilm and Andrew Ainsworth.  In the auction description, Andrew Ainsworth was named as the source of provenance for the prop withdrawn from the current Christie’s sale. Read more

Lucasfilm vs Ainsworth Legal Battle Aftermath & Update: Andrew Ainsworth Owes Lawyers £3.5 Million

November 12, 2012 by · 5 Comments 

Following the UK Supreme Court ruling well over a year ago, legal website The Lawyer today reports that Andrew Ainsworth owes the legal firm that represented him in his dispute with Lucasfilm about £3.5 million.  Per the report, “[t]he case was brought on a conditional fee arrangement (CFA), and usually the court will order the losing side to cover the other’s costs”.  Since one issue was decided in favor of Ainsworth, and the other in favor of Lucasfilm, Ainsworth was never awarded a costs order, thus sticking him with a legal bill well into millions of dollars.  Ainsworth is quoted in the article noting that his legal team “gained a lot of kudos” for their apparently free (at this point) legal defense, though it will be interesting to continue to follow to see if his lawyers believe that they received £3.5 million pounds worth of kudos. Read more

Lucasfilm vs Ainsworth UK Supreme Court Ruling: The Mainstream Media Interviews Andrew Ainsworth

July 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Having followed the news reported by the mainstream media following Wednesday’s UK Supreme Court decision, there have been some interesting accounts coming from the Ainsworth camp yesterday and today, including a very simplistic characterization of how the helmet and armor made their way from two to three dimensions (completely leaving out the sculpture contributions by Ms. Liz Moore and Mr. Brian Muir).  It will be interesting to see how this saga will continue to play out following the ruling in England. Read more

UK Supreme Court Rules in Lucasfilm vs Ainsworth Star Wars “Stormtrooper Helmet” Copyright Legal Battle

July 27, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Since 2007, the Original Prop Blog has been covering the legal battle between Lucasfilm Limited and Andrew Ainsworth of Shepperton Design Studios over the sale of unlicensed replica Star Wars props and costumes.  The UK Supreme Court is today published their ruling on the two issues presented to them.  Of the two, the most critical came down to whether the stormtrooper helmets themselves constituted “sculptures” in a way consistent with UK law.  The court ruled that they do not, and thus delivered a victory to Ainsworth, which also leaves those following the case wondering about the ramifications to copyrights and copyright law and the consequences of the decision.  The second question before them was decided in favor to Lucasfilm, which involves IP holders and their rights to pursue copyright claims in those cases where such laws are violated in other jurisdictions. Read more

Bloomberg Report on Lucasfilm vs Ainsworth ‘Star Wars’ Stormtrooper Helmet Copyright Lawsuit; UK Supreme Court Decision Still Pending

April 27, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Bloomberg today published a video report on the Lucasfilm Ltd. vs. Andrew Ainsworth dispute.  After Ainsworth prevailed in the UK Court of Appeals in late 2009, the case was argued before the UK Supreme Court in early March.  Mr. Ainsworth features prominently while giving a tour of his studio; Lucasfilm is represented by a two sentence written statement.  While the short broadcast captures an interesting mainstream media perspective of the case, it lacks a substantive review of the two specific legal issues under consideration in the pending UK Supreme Court decision, noting  that “the legal arguments are detailed and complex“. Read more

UK Supreme Court Publishes Case Details for Lucasfilm Limited vs Andrew Ainsworth Copyright Dispute, Awaiting Judgment

April 2, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

While the hearing for Lucasfilm Ltd. vs. Andrew Ainsworth was held before the Justices early last month, the case details were only just recently published on UK Supreme Court website.   While the Judgment is currently pending,  the case summary offers a concise outline of the two issues to be considered by the court. Read more

‘The 1709 Blog’ Offers Coverage, Insights, Legal Analysis of Lucasfilm vs. Ainsworth UK Supreme Court Hearing on Stormtrooper Copyright

March 17, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Hugo Cox of The 1709 Blog, “dedicated to all things copyright, warts and all“, published a substantive feature today entitled “Star Wars: the Hearing”.  This article provides coverage of the three-day UK Supreme Court hearing that took place last week, with in person observations and legal insights, analysis, and observations on Lucasfilm vs. Ainsworth in the related copyright dispute over the Stormtrooper helmets as seen in Star Wars: A New Hope. Read more

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