M’s red telephone seen in two James Bond films, £120,000 at Propstore.

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Some of the prices being paid now for 007 items really are mind-boggling, however.

In the latest blockbuster Propstore (25% buyer’s premium) Entertainment Memorabilia auction on November 9 a humble red telephone with a Bond connection was estimated at a hefty £3000- 6000 so it clearly had considerable appeal to start with.

It was M’s (Bernard Lee) phone, from Guy Hamilton’s Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun and Lewis Gilbert’s Moonraker. A red telephone occasionally accompanied the regular black telephone that sat on M’s desk throughout the Roger Moore years of the series.

From the personal collection of Peter Nelson, it was previously displayed at his two museums, The Cars of the Stars and The Bond Museum in Keswick, Cumbria, until they closed in 2011.

On sale day at BAFTA in Piccadilly, London, it rang up a hammer price to the tune of £120,000.

Original artwork


Robert McGinnis artwork for Thunderball (1965), £220,000 at Propstore.

A higher 007 memorabilia price, but one that was much less of a surpise, was paid for poster artwork hand-painted by renowned poster and cover artist Robert McGinnis for the promotion of Terence Young’s 1965 Bond film Thunderball.

Estimated at £80,000-160,000, it sold for £220,000.

McGinnis’ classic artwork was featured in many promotional materials for the film, including the US subway poster and half-sheet, the premiere programme cover, and the French affiche and French Grande, among others.

This 8½ x 16in (21.5 x 40.5cm) artwork depicting James Bond (Sean Connery) standing before the scantily-clad Fiona (Luciana Paluzzi), Domino (Claudine Auger), Patricia (Molly Peters), and Paula (Martine Beswick) with his harpoon gun and Bahamian cocktail in hand was rendered in oil and gouache on Bainbridge double thick illustration board. It ‘exhibits yellows around the edges and tears on the backing’, said Propstore.

Thunderball went on to surpass the earnings of the three previous Bond films and held the title of highest-grossing Bond film until Guy Hamilton’s Live and Let Die in 1973.

Honey Ryder’s (Ursula Andress) bathrobe from Terence Young’s Bond film Dr No, 1962, took a low-estimate £70,000 via (see Bid Barometer, ATG No 2619).

Time to buy

Modern-day 007 also carries a collecting cachet judging from the Propstore sale: James Bond’s (Daniel Craig) tuxedo from No Time to Die (2021) took £60,000, three times the low guide, and a One & Only Ocean Club poker table, chips, and playing cards from Casino Royale (2006) made £120,000, also triple low estimate.