From London, With Love: Sotheby’s Will Auction 007’s Posters, Watches…and yes, the 1964 Aston Martin
In 2006’s Casino Royale, Daniel Craig, in the middle of what would ultimately become a deadly poker game, memorably confesses, “I’m sorry. That last hand…nearly killed me.”
It’s a quote that would be remarkably appropriate if applied business of running movie theaters in 2020, with almost all having been shut down by this insidious ongoing pandemic. Then in early October came another shattering blow: the new Bond film, No Time To Die (originally scheduled for release in April of this year), would be delayed again until early 2021. Not that it wasn’t the correct decision—after all, even 007 probably wouldn’t choose to go up against COVID-19. Which, funny enough, actually sounds like the name of one of the evil, intent-on-world-domination syndicates he is charged by Mi-6 with taking down every couple of year or so.
Still and all, you can take the spy out of the theaters, but you can never take him out of the zeitgeist. And Sotheby’s London has stepped in to fill the martini-sipping void, with their upcoming auction Bond on Bond St., taking place November 6 – 10. The title is actually a brilliant trifecta of cleverness, referencing the classic Bob Dylan album Blond on Blond (though it should be noted here that Bond would have surely hated Dylan’s music, famously having no patience for hippie sorts), while also referring to Bond Street in Mayfair, where the Sotheby’s London gallery is located.
And we’re not talking about a bunch of old movie props laying around collecting dust suddenly being dragged out of a warehouse and put on the block; this is the coveted, a-list stuff, with four sales covering the same number of categories of “memorabilia” (if a car could be considered memorabilia—more on that to follow). To wit, a final revised typescript of the fourth Bond novel Diamonds Are Forever will be on offer (asking price: £80,000-£120,000); with the original revisions on almost every page, it’s surely a fascinating peek into the great Ian Fleming’s writing process. And a first edition of Moonraker is actually inscribed to Raymond Chandler, who was said to have significantly influenced 007’s creator.
For approximately £15,000-£25,000, one can own an original Mitchell Hooks Dr. No British poster from 1962. Or, for those looking to make a real statement, the same price will fetch you the extremely rare You Only Live Twice US door panels (they’d look smashing in the dining room, surely). And for a similar cash outlay, it will be possible to take ownership of one of Bond’s stylish Rolex or Omega timepieces, should one be looking to add a bit of elegant swagger to one’s wardrobe.
But surely the pièce de résistance is the 1964 Aston Martin automobile that will be on display, which would go on to appear in a total of eight Bond films, and can also be seen in the trailer for No Time To Die (How’s that for astute cross promotion?). As it is a private sale via RM Sotheby’s, the price is only available upon request—but one should rightly expect to pay quite dearly for such a motoring / pop culture icon.
Of course, nothing could shake our ultimate disappointment that an always dashing but nothing less than merciless Daniel Craig won’t be gracing the big screen as 007 before this completely awful year is out. But flipping through the pages of a first edition copy of The Spy Who Loved Me could certainly hold us over until he is.