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Star Wars: Princess Leia gown fails to sell at auction

Kieran Burke
June 29, 2023

A one-of-a kind white gown worn by the late Carrie Fisher in the first Star Wars film has not found a buyer, despite auctioneers hoping to get nearly $2 million.

The Princess Leia dress worn by actress Carrie Fisher in the 1977 film "Star Wars"
Other iconic costumes fared better at the auction, including the General Maximus armor (l) worn by Russel Crowe in 'Gladiator'Image: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Auctioneers in the US have failed to sell an iconic white gown worn by Carrie Fisher in her role as Princess Leia in the first "Star Wars" film "A New Hope" from 1977.

Propstore — a Los Angeles company which sells film and TV props and costumes — had been hoping the iconic garment would fetch $1.96 million (€1.8 million) at Wednesday's auction. 

Iconic gown previously thought to have been lost

"This historically significant piece is the only Princess Leia costume known to still exist from the original film," Propstore noted in its auction lot description.

The long white dress — which Fisher wore in the popular film's final scene where she awards Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) medals — was long thought to have disappeared.

The auction house said that the gown — created by British costume designer John Mollo — had been stored for years in a London attic until it was rediscovered and restored over an 8-month period.

The costume had to be cleaned by hand to remove accumulated dust while in storage. Propstore said that the dress was restored with "archival precision" and that a special type of gauze was used on tiny holes.

Propstore cited Mollo as having said that it was his belief only a single ceremonial dress was created for the film, and there was no evidence to suggest otherwise

Mollo would go on to win an Oscar for Best Costume Design for Star Wars at the 50th annual Academy Awards in March 1978.

The dress was previously thought to have been lost when it was rediscovered in a London attic and then restoredImage: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Star Wars blockbuster status not enough to secure sale

Star Wars is one of the world's biggest franchises and films of the series are considered to be among the first blockbuster movies in the 1970s, hauling in billions of dollars from audiences. However, its stellar status was not enough to persuade punters into parting with money.

Other props auctioned on Wednesday did better than expected and managed to sell far above their estimated prices.

A clown doll from the horror film "Poltergeist" fetched more than $656,000, while a grotesque spider-like head prop from John Carpenter's horror movie "The Thing from Another World" (1982) raked in more than $587,000.

Russell Crowe's General Maximus costume from Gladiator sold for $125,000 after a fierce bidding contest, with the auction house saying "we were all entertained." 

Other items included an outfit which Harrison Ford wore as Rick Deckard in 1982's "Blade Runner," selling for $287,000 and a costume from "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" which sold for $100,000.

DPA material contributed to this report.

Edited by: Darko Janjevic


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