Propmasters, a history of...
David Oliver (founder Propmasters) has fond memories of when a boy being surrounded by the 'business'. His father having a 40 year established Vehicle Supply Company to the Film and Television Industry, it was quite often he would find himself on a film set or location. "I think my very earliest memory was walking through the Bugsy Malone interior street set at Pinewood", David reflects, "...this along with a multitude of others to include Superman, Batman, Aliens, various Bonds, the Indiana Jones series, etc, etc". "I remember seeing the full scale Aliens APC outside the 007 Stage at Pinewood, it was subsequently scrapped. A fate which also befell the main Truck from Raiders of the Lost Ark which Indy goes under, this was in our 'back yard' for ages before going to that movie prop graveyard, back then there was little or no interest in such items which today are regarded as icons and I was too young at that time to fully appreciate everything".
His very first film prop acquisitions were direct from the old Pinewood Prop Store itself in the mid 1980's, two Bugsy Malone Guns, the James Bond You Only Live Twice Helicopter, the Live And Let Die Rolex Watch and the Shark Gun Attaché Case. "These were the very early days. Such things were not regarded at all, let alone collected". David still owns the working hero version Bugsy Malone Gun today, the two Live and Let Die pieces have been subsequently sold in the 2001 Christies Bond Auction to help offset his mortgage and the Helicopter was sold a few months after it's purchase to the James Bond Collectors Club for what now would be regarded as 'pocket money'! Since those 'glory days' David's business and movie prop collection has continued to flourish.
Perhaps David's best and most internationally known find thus far was when he purchased an incredible inventory of Indiana Jones, Roger Rabbit and Willow Props from one of the leading Property Masters in the United Kingdom in the very early 1990's. "I remember filling a Van to the brim, there was just so much, I've kept a few pieces back for my collection but the vast majority has sadly now gone but It is interesting to see certain pieces circulate around the market, especially as they have really soared in value!". 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!
Propmasters over the years has supplied Planet Hollywood, the major Auction Houses throughout the world and of course, 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 also constantly asked to verify the authenticity of certain items.
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, auctions and even stores. The most recent trend is for the Film Production Companies to actually sell their movie props, etc., direct via auction sites, from cushions to cars!
The popularity of collecting seems to have no end as more and more collectors join the snowball in search of 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.
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