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Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 18:59 GMT
Bond at a premium
Max Reid at Christie's auction house
Buyer Max Reid is accosted by a TV reporter
By BBC News Online's Darryl Chamberlain

It may have been a James Bond auction, but 007's style was seriously short on the ground at Christie's auction house in South Kensington.

The only man in a tuxedo to be seen was a reporter from a Dutch TV station, leaping around doing bad Sir Sean Connery impressions, and there wasn't a martini in sight.

Other than that, the smartest male in the house was six-year-old Jacob Martinez, resplendent in a black suit and red shirt, who was having the time of his life playing with a box full of James Bond toys from the far-off 80s.

The cost to his mother Danielle? Just 250 for lot 43.

"He loves James Bond," she beamed, having travelled from Chichester, West Sussex, to buy her son the treat.

"He just watched a few films and he was hooked. He's got all the videos now," she added.

Tatty toys

Although many were in good condition - and were being kept out of Jacob's hands - some were decidedly tatty.

The quantity of old Bond toys on offer were enough to make any parent swear to rear their offspring on 007 playthings - and never throw them away.

Hugh Edmeads
Auctioneer Hugh Edmeads keeps proceedings under control
Some of the more mundane items fetched reasonable sums of money - a GoldenEye poster plugging a champagne brand ("The champagne of James Bond") shifting for 220, and a cinema poster for The World Is Not Enough earning 100.

But shoes actually worn by Pierce Brosnan fell 200 shy of their estimate, going for a bargain 1,300.

There was something of the 007 style in the unflappable auctioneer, who kept up a stream of banter with his colleague in the adjacent sale room.

"It's all yours, Nick," he said when a 1965 doll of Oddjob went for 190 to a buyer in the next room.

"Thank you, sir," replied the disembodied voice from next door.

Gasps and applause

There were gasps as Pierce Brosnan's diver's watch from GoldenEye sold for 6,000, and when a stunt gun from Tomorrow Never Dies went for 8,500 - over twice its estimated value.

But the applause came for Christie's coolest customer, computer entrepreneur Max Reid, who patiently held on to buy the 1965 Aston Martin DB5 from GoldenEye for 140,000.

After shaking his business partner by the hand, he asked the auctioneer after landing his prey: "Can I have a vodka now, please?"

The only time he looked remotely worried was when the TV reporter in a tuxedo interrupted him while he was talking to the assembled journalists.

"You bastard! You beat me to my car!" Poor show, Mr Dutch Bond.

But Mr Reid remained calm and announced his intention to add the bra to the car - and go for Ursula Andress's bikini.

007 would be proud.

See also:

14 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Bond bikini up for auction
14 Feb 01 | Entertainment
007: Licence to lookalike
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