Michael Caine announces Italian Job-lot sale of 60 years of movie memorabilia
Treasured memorabilia of Sir Michael Caine, one of Britain’s biggest film stars, is to go under the hammer. Caine—star of films including The Italian Job, Zulu, and Get Carter—has decided that the time has come to downsize his home and dust off a lifetime’s worth of keepsakes … but don’t expect to find any missing gold bullion in the loft.
The treasure trove of memorable items is said to tell the story of six decades as one of the most popular and acclaimed actors in the world.
Art work, film posters, pairs of personal spectacles, and even a gold Rolex wristwatch form part of the collection to be sold by Bonhams. Other items include directors’ chairs and travel posters that Caine said he would be “reluctant to sell.”
The actor says: “It’s going to be quite a wrench to part with so many treasured parts of my life and career. But it’s the right time to be moving on. I hope these mementoes will give their new owners as much pleasure as they have given us.”
Caine and his wife, Shakira (no, not that Shakira), have decided the time has come to leave their generously proportioned home in Leatherhead, Surrey, where they have lived for two decades, and downsize to something more manageable.
For collectors who are Caine fans, or dealers that trade memorabilia with a celebrity provenance, the sale is a chance to secure something of meaning from the actor’s past.
1969’s The Italian Job would likely rank highest in a public opinion poll determining the world’s favorite Michael Caine film. Original one-sheet posters advertising the hit film are highly prized by collectors, as are signed scripts, props, and signed photographs.
Bonhams has yet to list the catalog of items ahead of the sale, which will take place on March 2, at the company’s New Bond Street sale room in London. Two standout lots show original posters from two of his most famous films, Zulu and Alfie.
Charlie Thomas, a director with the auction house, had the opportunity to sift through Caine’s collection, even venturing into the loft, as the actor shared the story behind each piece. “It was full of all the treasures you would hope to find,” says Thomas. “Each item tells a story.”
A portrait of Caine, painted by Lincoln Townley, is being sold in aid of U.K’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), with all fees being waived, and is hoped to fetch as much as £15,000, or approximately $20,430.
Speaking in a video filmed by Bonhams for the sale, Sir Michael says of his art collection: “It is all nostalgia and remembrance with me. I didn’t collect art as some great art dealer, stuff became expensive accidentally.”