Roger J. Christian Offers Some Insights Into Original Prop Lightsabers from “Star Wars: A New Hope” (Update To NRA Museum / Graflex Flash / Ellis Props Articles)
This week Roger J. Christian, who won an Academy Award for his work as Set Decorator on Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), published a reader comment to one of my older articles concerning the prop lightsabers used in that first Original Trilogy film, and two featured at the NRA Museum acquired from Ellis Props. I feel Mr. Christian’s information as principal production member directly involved in the props was definitely important to highlight here and memorialize as part of the ongoing dialogue concerning memorabilia in the marketplace that is characterized by some as “authentic” and “original” to the production, when that might not be the case. Read more
Revisiting Ellis Props & Graphics – Certificates of Authenticity (COAs) Assigned to TV and Movie Props, Set Pieces, & Costumes Circulating in the Marketplace
For reasons unknown to me, I continue to receive communications from recent buyers of memorabilia attributed to film and television productions, who believe I have something to do with various eBay sellers and/or Ellis Props (see article from one month ago today, “NOTICE: Original Prop Blog Does Not/Will Not Supply Props to Dealers “jnsmcmahan”, “jsnent”, John Tarter, Billie Null, Mark Sullivan, L.A. Prop & Wardrobe, Hollywood Prop Supply, Studio West Prop, Ellis Props, et al“). In any event, with one of these more recent contacts, I asked the buyer of one of these pieces to send me a photo of the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) supplied with the item purchased (in this case the COA provided was one that originally appears to be from Ellis Props). A long time trusted collector in the field was kind enough to forward to me some images of confirmed legitimate examples of Ellis Props COAs obtained during the sales/liquidation circa ’99/’00, and that COA is very different from the one just obtained by a buyer from a piece purchased on eBay. Read more
Cringeworthy Pawn Stars Authentication of “Star Trek: The Original Series” TV Props (Communicator, Phaser, Tribble)
I truly found “reality” series Pawn Stars enjoyable when it first came on the air on History back in 2009, but it has become more and more scripted, “character” oriented, and, well, flat out boring and at times unwatchable over the years. So at this point I only watch an episode if someone tells me that something is brought onto the show to sell that I might find interesting to watch. This past week was one of those times, with the episode “Beam Me Up” which features a woman bringing in a collection of Star Trek memorabilia associated with the television shows and movies featuring The Original Series cast. Obviously the point of this show is to entertain more than educate (though if you have Internet access and can search Wikipedia, I’m not so sure you can’t find the exact same wisdom shared on the show quite easily with your own efforts, sans the self-indulgent presentation). Read more
Pawn Stars Latest Episode Features Civil War Jacket – “TBS” Stamp – Inspector’s Mark or “The Burbank Studios”?
Friends and Original Prop Blog readers Jen and Bryce wrote to me today in regards to one of the latest episodes of Pawn Stars, which premiered last night. In the episode, “Late Night Chum”, a customer brings in what appears to be a Civil War jacket. Mark, the Administrator from the Clark County Museum, is called on to help authenticate it, and speculates that the stamped letters, “TBS”, might be an inspector’s mark. With an alternate assessment, and based on their experience with classic movie memorabilia, props, and wardrobe, and having found the same mark on studio-used garments, Jen and Bryce believe that it might actually be a mark indicating prior ownership by “The Burbank Studios”. Read more
Vintage and Classic Hollywood original prop and wardrobe expert Rick Spector of Stairway to the Stars has contacted me this week with concerns about the authenticity of a wardrobe piece attributed to John Wayne listed in the “Cody Old West Show and Auction” scheduled for this weekend. Read more
Star Wares eBay Auction: Spider-Man 70’s TV Costume “Worn On Screen” or “Made For Publicity Purposes”?
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. Read more
I started asking questions about Superman costumes in the marketplace, attributed to the Christopher Reeve films of the 70s and 80s, over two years ago. Since, I have published over 100 related articles, asking questions and sharing information and insights – all in an attempt to bring clarity to the marketplace and empower collectors and other interested parties with more information with which to make their own assessments and conclusions. Read more
“Hands On” Superman Costume Comparative Analysis In Development: Warner Bros. Archive, Authenticated vs. “Super Hollywood”
I spent the day in Burbank yesterday, performing a “hands on” analysis and comparison of confirmed authentic costumes (two recently released from the Warner Bros. Archives) from multiple Superman films starring Christopher Reeve (Superman II, III, and IV) with the three “Super Hollywood” costumes examined in a recent article (see “Super Hollywood” Superman III Costume Case Study: High Resolution Photo Archive & Analysis). A substantive article is under development that will include the results of this analysis and high resolution comparison photos. Read more
This marks the 100th article related to Superman costumes in the marketplace characterized as “original”. This article includes hands on analysis and a new archive of high resolution photos of a Superman costume sold by Armando Alvarez (“Super Hollywood”) and accompanying provenance and eBay and PayPal transaction records from the buyer. This new material is also compared directly with other “Super Hollywood” costumes which have been archived previously. Read more
Over the past two years, I have archived a number of examples of Superman costumes and costume components offered for sale publicly in the marketplace attributed to use in the Superman films of the 70s-80s starring Christopher Reeve and characterized as “original” and “authentic” that include provenance from “Super Hollywood” (signed by both Armando Alvarez and Ana Mungia). Read more