A Bristol man’s collection of Star Wars memorabilia described as ‘the best ever seen’ by auctioneers could fetch over £70,000.
The single-owner lifetime collection features over one hundred original boxed action figures, and more than 1,500 autographs from cast and crew.
The signatures, including a unique signature from Alec Guinness - Obiwan Kenobi - were gathered over a period of twenty years, with the collector in some cases even making friends with members of the cast.
Andrew Stowe, the auctioneer at East Bristol Auctions, said he expects it to fetch more than £70,000 when it goes to auction on January 27.
He said: “This is a collection that is difficult to match!
“The haul is the private collection of a Bristol gentleman who collected the memorabilia for over thirty years.
“He was buying the original figures in the mid-nineties when they could be purchased for just a few pounds.
“Now some of those figures alone are worth over a thousand!”
While vintage toys can often prove popular and valuable auction items, the main focus of the collection is signatures.
After visiting Star Wars conventions in the United States and UK, the collector has amassed a large number of autographs from famous actors in the films.
Mr Stowe added: “When I first met with the vendor, what I thought was a quick home visit turned into a morning out.
“When I just kept getting handed folder after folder of autographs, turning each page over revealed something else incredible.
“There were signed photographs that Star Wars fans would sell a limb to own!’
The individual reportedly build their collection over twenty years, meeting cast members at stage doors, or talks – and some even became friends, visiting them in their homes.
It took eight months for the collection to be catalogued by the auction house.
Highlights within the sale include:
A rare Empire Strikes Back ‘Boba Fett’ action figure released in 1982 which carries an estimate of £800 to 1200.
A Star Wars script book autographed by over two hundred original cast and crew worth £1500 to £2500
Along with a rare signed photo of Alec Guinness who played Obi-Wan Kenobi worth at least £400 to £600.
The entire collection is estimated at £50,000 to £70,000.
Andrew added: “It took eight months to work through the collection – evenings and weekends became Star Wars time. It was a real honour to handle this collection.
“I’ve never seen a collection like this before – it’s unique, and I’ve never seen one like this come on the market before. It’s very exciting.
“Star Wars has an appeal like nothing else – its fanbase is intergalactic!
“This collection will attract worldwide attention, for sure”.