I understand the concept of “provenance” — I sometimes call it “touching history”, in that when one can establish through an object some kind of lineage which can take one back in time, it’s always interesting. It’s why people continue to brave all the hassle and potential ills of going to Egypt, just to see and stand next to the Sphinx and the Pyramids.
I get all that. I’ve spoken how it felt to show the kids a church in Austria which had been built in 937AD, or going to a pub somewhere in southern Germany which had first served beer in 1256AD (and smelled like it — Daughter: “Eeewwww do you think they’ve cleaned the floors since then?”).
Those are all Good Things, and that kind of provenance is wonderful.
Much less wonderful is this nonsense:
The pistol used by the late Sir Sean Connery in the first ever James Bond movie – the 1962 classic Dr. No – has sold at auction for $256,000 (£190,000).
Now granted, the James Bond movies brought the old Walther PP/PPK back from the dead — it was never that great a pistol, despite being the sidearm of several European police departments — but… a quarter-million for a studio prop?
I don’ theenk so, Scooter.
I’ve never understood “collectibles” when applied to movie rubbish — Judy Garland’s Wizard of Oz shoes fetched some ungodly amount of money a while back (can’t be bothered to look it up) — and I’ve always considered this kind of thing to be akin to the groupie syndrome. I mean, who wouldn’t pay a boatload of money for Sonny Corleone’s bullet-riddled and (fake-)blood-drenched shirt from The Godfather, as somebody apparently did back in 2003?
Well, I wouldn’t, for starters, nor for any piece of make-believe “heritage”. Lord knows I love guns, but emptying out the old bank account for a piece of historical gunnery — even for Frank James’s Remington revolver? Nuh-uh.
And coming back to the Bond thing: Ian Fleming was a fine writer, but he didn’t know shit about guns. I think his original Bond gun was a Beretta .22 pistol, later “upgraded” to the .25 ACP and finally to a Walther (.32 ACP, not the .380 ACP as in the movie prop), as though this was the very apogee of weaponry a spy should use. Hell, even back in the late 1950s, those guns were already in disfavor as sidearms.
As the expression / cliche goes: A fool and his money are soon parted. And this is just the latest proof of the thing.