Propmasters founder, David Oliver, has fond memories of as a boy being surrounded by the 'business'. Since the 1960's his father owned a Vehicle Supply Company to the Film and Television Industry, as such he would inadvertently often find himself at a film studio or film location.
"My earliest memory was walking through the 'Bugsy Malone' interior street set at Pinewood Studios. Subsequently during the late 1970's/80's I was fortunate to experienced the filming of Superman, Flash Gordon, Batman, Aliens, various Bonds, the Indiana Jones series, etc, etc. I recall seeing the full scale Aliens APC outside the 007 Stage at Pinewood, which was sadly subsequently scrapped. A fate which also befell the main Truck from Raiders of the Lost Ark, which Indy goes under, that resided in our 'back yard' for years before going to the great movie prop graveyard. Back then there was little or no interest in such items which today are regarded as icons and I was unfortunately too young at that time to truly appreciate everything or indeed have the means to secure and rescue". - David Oliver
His very first film prop acquisitions were direct from the old Pinewood Studios Prop Department itself in the mid 1980's, comprising of two 'Bugsy Malone' Guns, the James Bond 'You Only Live Twice' large scale miniature Helicopter, the 'Live And Let Die' Rolex Watch and the Shark Gun Attaché Case. These were the very initial days of the prop collecting world in the UK when such pieces were not regarded, let alone collected. David still retains the working hero version Bugsy Malone Gun within his collection today.
"I had a passion for these slices of movie history before most had any real appreciation for them, which ultimately drove me to establish Propmasters in 1988"- David Oliver
One of Propmasters early significant purchases was an incredible archive of Indiana Jones, Roger Rabbit and Willow Props from one of the leading Property Masters in the United Kingdom.
"I remember filling a Transit Van to capacity, there was just so much. I retained a few select pieces for my collection but the vast majority has long been sold. It is interesting to see certain pieces re-circulate around the market today and the incredible values they can now ascertain".- David Oliver
David is, and will always be, fore mostly a collector and like all collectors the 'buzz ' and 'thrill ' of the tracking down and the purchase never dwindles, be warned....this hobby is 100% addictive!
Pre-internet, sales were initially solely facilitated through various printed magazine advertising, Christies and Sothebys Auctions and occasional sales through our physical memorabilia retail store in Surrey, England. The first Propmasters dedicated website debuted online circa 2000.
In 2018 Propmasters held their inaugural Live Auction, in celebration of their 30th Anniversary. It attracted worldwide collector and media interest and future dedicated Live Auctions are in the planning.
Propmasters over the years has supplied Planet Hollywood, numerous major Auction Houses throughout the world, museums and ,most importantly, the collector. We have put exhibitions on at various events (including for 20th Century Fox) and museums and also are regularly contacted by the media for items. We are proud that the Propmasters Certificate of Authenticity is firmly recognised worldwide as a respected established trustworthy guarantee.
The incredible growth of the hobby
Movie Prop and Costume collecting is relatively new. It has only really boomed since the turn of the 1990's. Mainly, it has to be said, down to the formation of Planet Hollywood and the mass publicity that brought to this field of collecting. Now there are numerous specialist dealers and auctions worldwide.
The popularity of collecting seems to have no limits as more and more collectors join the search for original film props and costumes. We have sold items within the last 24 months which we have seen more than quadruple in price, amazing to consider we are talking 'thousands' rather than 'hundreds'. Prop collecting is now very firmly established which we are more than proud to see, as when we first started the reaction was more of a "...what do you want that for?" rather than a "....wow, where did you get that!" as it is today.
Wanted to buy/trade
We are always interested in authentic screen seen film props and costumes, together with associated ephemera from blueprints to continuity Polaroids. Please contact us with what you have.
All items sold are sold without copyright. No infringement of copyright is implied or intended. Should any parties feel that their copyright has been violated then please contact us as we will be happy to rectify any accidental infringements. All items sold are sold for private collection purposes only, from collector to collector.