A Lost in Space robot, the Dude’s robe and Princess Diana’s dresses lifted Julien’s to $7M

The B-9 Robot from CBS’ 'Lost In Space' 1965-1968 television series, which sold for $350,000 ($455,000 with buyer’s premium) at Julien's.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Already established as a leader in Hollywood memorabilia auctions, Julien’s continued its string of monster successes with its four-day Contemporary and Classic Hollywood sessions held December 14, December 15, December 16, and December 17. The sale stomped estimates and set records all along the way, posting a $7 million total and becoming Julien’s biggest sale ever. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

The first two sessions at the Beverly Hilton hotel were called Contemporary Hollywood and featured screen-used items from motion pictures and television, many instantly recognizable to millions. A classic example of this type of star lot was the B-9 Robot from CBS’ Lost In Space 1965-1968 television series. After production ended, the B-9 made famous by repeatedly intoning “Danger, Will Robinson!” (as voiced by Dick Tufeld) was placed into storage by 20th Century Fox, which had produced the series for creator Irwin Allen. Some years after, sci-fi special effects legend Greg Jein (1945-2022) contacted Fox, acquired the B-9 and began a painstaking restoration on the prop originally designed by Robert Kinoshita (1914-2014), himself a legend for having also created Robby the Robot from the 1956 film Forbidden Planet.

The robot auctioned by Julien’s was one of two originally created, with this one being the so-called “stunt” version that was used when actor Bob May was not needed inside. Much traveled by Jein to innumerable sci-fi conventions during the years, the B-9 includes signatures from both May and Tufeld and features contemporary restoration to include show-sourced classic lines that play through a speaker. Estimated at $300,000-$500,000, the B-9 hammered at $350,000 ($455,000 with buyer’s premium).

Though he has been gone for 50 years, passion for Bruce Lee (1940-1973) continues unabated. From his earliest days as a martial arts teacher to the likes of Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Chuck Norris (both of whom would appear in his later films) to his 1966 debut as Kato on The Green Hornet spinoff of Batman on ABC, Lee’s charm and sheer brilliance captivated viewers and martial arts fans alike. One of his greatest performances was in Fist of Fury, a 1972 film made just a year before his death from a cerebral edema. In the movie, he battled adversaries using nunchaku, a weapon constructed from two wooden dowels connected by 13 chain links. Created by George Lee and accompanied by a letter of authenticity from the builder, the screen-used nunchaku blew out the $20,000-$30,000 presale estimate to hammer for $125,000 ($162,500 with buyer’s premium).

Day three was titled The Big Lebowski and included 257 lots related to the 1998 Coen Brothers comedy that became a cult classic after tanking at the box office upon release. Two absolutely iconic screen-worn items by actor Jeff Bridges as The Dude, also known as Jeffery Lebowski, were highly anticipated and did not disappoint. The Dude’s bathrobe and Jockey t-shirt seen throughout the film — the Ralphs supermarket half-and-half shopping sequence, the attack at his Hollywood bungalow by henchmen of porn king Jackie Treehorn (Ben Gazarra), and while meeting the “other” Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston) and Brandt (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Estimated at $30,000-$50,000, bidders romped past that range and kept going to a final hammer of $130,000 ($169,000 with buyer’s premium).

The Dude’s sunglasses were also top performers. Estimated at $20,000-$30,000, they achieved the far-out sum of $70,000 ($91,000 with buyer’s premium), further entrenching The Big Lebowski as a core element of late-20th century popular culture.

Demand for Princess Diana-associated clothing continues its meteoric rise in the auction market. Seen as a fashion icon during her reign as the Princess of Wales, Diana was known for wearing only the finest designer clothing in her public appearances. Julien’s had four Diana-related items during its fourth session, including what would become the top-selling item of the entire four-day event – Diana’s romantic ballerina-length evening dress designed by Moroccan-British fashion designer Jacques Azagury and worn by her in Florence, Italy on April 23, 1985. The gown was accompanied by a matching illustration and sold for $900,000 ($1,148,080 with buyer’s premium), giving Julien’s the new world record at auction for Princess Diana-worn clothing. (The previous record had been $604,800).

Stephenson’s recalls Fab ’50s and More with July 29 auction

Seeburg Select-O-Matic 100 High Fidelity Model HF 100R jukebox, plays 45rpm records, 1 play for a dime, 3 plays for a quarter. Comes with original manual and keys. Estimate $1,000-$2,000

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – On July 29th, Stephenson’s Auctions will return to the days of sock hops, drive-ins and old gold Chevys as they host a colorful 252-lot auction titled Fab ‘50s and More. The sale features a single-owner collection of advertising signs and store displays; boardwalk amusement games, vintage clocks and telephones; cash registers, vending machines, railroadiana, a diner booth, vibrant Fiestaware, and a Dunhill stainless steel soda fountain and related accessories. The saleroom will be filled with not only colorful sights but also the nostalgic sounds of vintage radios, a Bally Mr. and Mrs. Pac-Man pinball machine, and a Seeburg Select-O-Matic jukebox, wall-mount speaker and Wall-o-Matic tabletop music selector.

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