World's largest collection of James Bond memorabilia goes on sale
Live and Let Buy: World’s largest private collection of James Bond memorabilia amassed by 007 fan – which includes 12,000 toys, posters, props, books and arcade games – goes on sale for £250k
- Nick Bennett, 57, first started collecting James Bond memorabilia in 1990
- The businessman’s collection is now so big he uses a warehouse to store it all in
The world’s largest private collection of James Bond memorabilia is being sold by a 007 fanatic for £250,000.
Nick Bennett has held the Guinness Book of Records title for the largest James Bond collection since 2014, amassing more than 12,000 unique items.
The 57-year-old started his collection in the 1990s – during the Pierce Brosnan ‘Goldeneye’ era – and has built up an impressive array of 007 related toys, posters, shop displays, props, books and arcade games.
Mr Bennett, from Leigh in Greater Manchester, even has a Bond speedboat that was used in cinemas to promote Live and Let Die in 1973.
His collection is now so vast that he is currently forced to rent a warehouse on an industrial estate to store it in.
Nick Bennett, 57, (pictured) has the Guinness world record for the world’s largest James Bond collection
The businessman now has such a large collection of James Bond memorabilia he is force to store it in a warehouse. This poster collection is expected to sell for £3,000
Nick Bennett is set to sell his collection of memorabilia at auction for £250,000. His collection of paperbacks is expected to sell for £3,000
Nick Bennett started collecting James Bond memorabilia in the 1990s during the Goldeneye era
But he has now decided to put the huge collection up for auction with Merseyside-based Omega Auctions who have called it an ‘unprecedented’ sale.
Mr Bennett has been a fan of the world’s most famous spy since his parents took him to see Live and Let Die at the cinema when he was aged seven.
The businessman started collecting in the 1990s and quickly amassed a huge trove of Bond-related items, travelling all over the world to meet other collectors and buy pieces he didn’t have.
But he says he does not watch the films a lot or go to any fan events, and doesn’t show his collection to friends and family, just collects the memorabilia for his eyes only.
He said: ‘I had a friend who collected Batman and I was so impressed with his one subject collection that I thought I would like to do that too. I already collected toys and I had a few James Bond ones so decided to go for that.
‘I had a toy business so I would buy full collections, take out what I wanted and needed for my collection and sell the rest. I travelled to the States and drove through parts of Europe.
His collection has built up an impressive array of items in the previous few decades, including this ‘You Only Live Twice’ billboard which is expected to sell for £600
Nick Bennett’s ‘You Only Live Twice’ poster is expected to fetch £1,200
This first edition copy of Casino Royale is expected to sell for £3,000
Nick Bennet’s first edition copy of Casino Royale is expected to sell for £3,000
‘I wanted to know how I compared to other people so I contacted Guinness and they gave me a figure of what they thought I needed to have the record, which was 10,000 unique items and I thought I can definitely do that.
‘I hadn’t counted mine, I had it everywhere – business offices, garages. Once one place was full I would shut the door and move on to the next.
‘I bought a warehouse and started pulling everything together and I had nearly 13,000 unique items.
‘I have scaled down now.
‘I don’t have anything James Bond in my house, I don’t do fan clubs and I don’t particularly watch the films. I don’t discuss it with my friends and nobody comes to see the collection, it’s my private collection.
‘But now I’ve sold my business and it’s time to move on. Life is about collecting stories. I’m a man who loves his collection and has loved putting it together but now realises it’s time.
‘Over 30 years of collecting and now these items will find new homes for the world’s greatest spy.’
Omega Auctions think it will take at least ten auctions to sell the whole collection.
This 1962 Dr No US six sheet poster is expected to sell for £1,500
This The Spy Who Loved Me/Live and Let Die double bill poster is expected to fetch £300
This A View To A Kill, 1985, ‘Marley Hayley’ poster set is expected to sell for £2,500
The first sale of the collection is starting on September 26 with over 300 lots, including rare posters and first edition books, expected to fetch in excess of £70,000.
Among the top lots is a full set of first edition Pan paperbacks, which have an estimate of £3,000, a Dr No original US poster, which is expected to fetch £1,500, and a UK first edition of Casino Royale from 1953 which is worth about £3,000.
Auction manager Dan Muscatelli-Hampson said: ‘It’s a real honour for us to have the chance to work with Nick on a collection of this significance.
‘His collection is absolutely jaw-dropping. It’s so impressive and took him a long time to put together.
‘Some of the items are incredible and extremely rare, particularly some of the toys. It’s definitely going to be a process going through it all.
‘We’re seeing a marked increase in sales and in general interest in James Bond memorabilia and collectables, especially for posters and first edition books, so I believe that although it’s been a tough decision for Nick to part with the collection, it’s as good a moment as ever to do so.
‘We are not sure yet how many sales it’ll take us to work through the entire collection, probably about ten – but to offer this kind of quantity to the market is certainly unprecedented.’
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