Thursday, September 17, 1998 Published at 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Oddjob's hat bowls them over
Bid and let buy: Christie's sold rare 007 memorabilia
The steel-rimmed bowler hat used to deadly effect by Oddjob, one of the most famous Bond villains of all, has sold for more than £60,000 at a massive auction of 007 memorabilia.
After frantic bidding at Christie's in London, an anonymous telephone bidder eventually secured the hat for £62,000.
It was the most sought after item of more than 270 lots which went under the hammer.
Serious collectors joined Bond fans with only a few hundred pounds to spend in the sale room as toys, posters, clothing and props were sold.
Another particularly sought after lot was the Lotus Esprit submarine driven by Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me. It eventually sold for more than £28,000.
In the film, the watch is adapted by Secret Service gadgets expert Q to feature a powerful magnet.
A single collection amassed by an avid Bond enthusiast over the last 28 years formed the backbone of the sale, with a number of other items coming from Bob Simmons, a stunt man on several Bond films, and from other workers at Pinewood Studios.
Many of the key props were originally displayed at the James Bond Nightspot in the London Hilton Hotel during the 1960s and 1970s.
Seven bullets with Bond's name on them - probably used to promote The Man with The Golden Gun - each fetched around £1,500.
The personalised number plate 0007 made £31,000 and dozens of posters, toys and props made between several hundred and many thousands of pounds.
Actor Desmond Llewellyn, who played Q in the films, was astounded at the sums being spent.
He said: "I think it's fantastic, but these people are crazy. The amount of money they are spending is unbelievable."
Graham Rye, who sold Oddjob's bowler hat, was equally amazed at the money being spent, but rather more pleased.
Mr Rye, who runs the James Bond Fan Club, said he had no regrets at selling his treasured memento. The money would be ploughed back into the fan club.
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