Copyright 2002 Reuters News Agency

[ March 10th 2002 ]

A Buddha from a Bond film and a coffin clock from The Rocky Horror Picture Show are among thousands of film props to go under the auctioneer's hammer at Sotheby's this month. All belong to a vast collection from a top London film prop shop that has supplied gizmos and gadgets to some of the most famous movies of the last 50 years.

A French Empire style suite was used, for example, in Interview With The Vampire, Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, Never Say Never Again and Onegin, while a giant Buddha from The Man With The Golden Gun resurfaced in Tomb Raider, Carry On Up the Khyber and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. A small gilded Buddha that appeared in You Only Live Twice in 1967 starring Sean Connery as Britain's most famous secret agent, re-emerged over 30 years later in Entrapment, again with the smooth-talking Scottish actor and Catherine Zeta Jones.

For shop owner Chris Paul, the ultimate gem in the March 13-15 auction has to be a century-old clock in a full-sized coffin, which comes complete with its own skeleton from the opening of the 1975 cult flick, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. "There's a fascinating story about that," said Paul, who has run the Ken Paul prop shop in north London since her father's death in 1989.

"The skeleton is rumoured to be the remains of the young Italian lover and the secretary of the Countess of Rosslyn. After his death she couldn't bear to be separated from him, so she immortalised him in the clock and took him everywhere with her. Much better than being buried, don't you think?," she said. Now, following her decision to shut up shop, Sotheby's will sell its contents - more than 1,500 lots which are expected to raise over one million pounds ($1.4 million)

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