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Profiles in History “Hollywood Auction 43” Catalog (with Original Jabba Maquette and Rancor Head)

August 3, 2011

Profiles in History is an auction house that often deals in very high-end items like screen-used props and costumes, some valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is a catalog for one of their auctions that was held on December 17th and 18th of 2010. It’s fascinating to leaf through something like this. It’s nearly 400 pages long, and chock-full of stuff from popular (and some not-so-popular) films, including the Star Wars, Alien, and Terminator franchises.

It might be a bit of a stretch to call this a Jabba the Hutt collectible, but I’m including here because it contains a couple of very interesting items from the collection of Phil Tippet. The first is the original maquette that Tippet created to show George Lucas to get his approval on the Jabba design. (This is apparently a casting of the original sculpture, but the original and the mold have both been destroyed, making this the only surviving version of the piece.)

It kind of reminds me of the kind of sculpture you might find in an ancient tomb. It’s pretty close to the final Jabba design, if not quite as fat. They estimated the sale price at between $30,000 to $50,000, although according to the online page for the item, it didn’t sell. I can’t say that I’m too surprised, since that’s a lot of money and I think a lot of collectors would prefer screen-used items to concept pieces like this. Still, it’s a great piece and I would love to have a collectible version of it if it were affordable.

Here’s a short video I found showing the maquette in more detail (skip to about 50 seconds in):

Another item from Tippet’s collection is the head of the Rancor monster. It seems to have deteriorated a bit over the years, which can be a problem with latex and foam rubber. This one apparently sold for $15,000. A fair chunk of change.

They also have a “rancor puppet animation handle” which was apparently used in the stop-motion animation of the rancor, but I never would have known if they hadn’t said so. I’m not too surprised that it didn’t sell, even at a somewhat lower price than the other two. After all, it just appears to be a piece of machined metal. The little chain that hung from the rancor’s manacle is actually more interesting to me.

While I can’t really afford much in this catalog, it is fun to think about what I’d buy if I had unlimited funds.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 4, 2011 4:07 pm

    I would easily pay $50,000 for this. This is an amazing piece. Even THINKING of Phil Tippet brings back great memories of watching early “behind the scenes” shorts on Jedi. I hope it ultimately found a good home.

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