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GIRLS,GUNS AND GOONS; GOING GOING BOND RARE CINEMA PUBLICITY PICTURES UNDER THE HAMMER.

Byline: George Mair

He was always the epitome of early 1960s cool.

Now, these rarely seen images of Sean Connery as James Bond are set to spark a bidding war among collectors.

The 8x10in front of house cards were displayed in cinemas in the 60s to advertise movies.

But the managers of picture houses across the country could hardly have been aware that the images would still have an enduring attraction almost 50 years later.

Sets from Dr No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball and You Only Live Twice are set to attract four-figure bids when they go under the hammer at Bonhams in London on Thursday. The auction house's Natalie Downing said: "Bond is probably the most successful film franchise of all time and memorabilia from the earliest films starring Sean Connery is particularly sought after.

"These front of house cards were displayed to promote the films in the cinemas. They gave people a snapshot of the major scenes and all of the major characters, including Bond himself.

Bond himself. They were generally discarded later so it is remarkable that these ones have survived, particularly in full sets.

They were generally discarded later so it is remarkable that these ones have survived, particularly in full sets.

"Although Ian Fleming's books had been published, no one knew how successful the films would be.

"Although Ian Fleming's books had been published, no one knew how successful the films would be.

"Now these cards are rare. We expect interest from all over the world."

"Now these cards are rare. We expect interest from all over the world."

Featuring the usual winning " Featuring the usual winning combination of guns, girls, shaken Martinis and villains, they have been kept in mint condition by the seller - an anonymous private collector.

The most valuable set features eight classic snapshots from Dr No, the movie that launched Edinburgh-born Connery to global stardom in 1962. They depict him and co-star Ursula Andress in a series of stills. Other memorabilia for sale include rare cinema posters for You Only Live Twice and Thunderball, each worth PS500 to PS700.

Natalie added: "Sean Connery was the original Bond and, to many people, still the best. Daniel Craig has been a very popular Bond and each new film encourages fresh interest.

"But when it comes to memorabilia, the films starring Connery are still the most collectable. Dr No, in particular, is the iconic first James Bond film."

Bond expert James Chapman, professor of film studies at the University of Leicester, said: "These front of house cards would have given an early glimpse of Bond and helped to build the excitement surrounding the film.

"They were displayed and chucked away. There was no value attached to them - it's only in hindsight. Now we see serious money changing hands for these collectibles.

"The early Bond films are very collectable and the Connery films are the most valuable of all.

"Connery was the first Bond and the posters and lobby cards from his films are more collectable than any of the later ones."

"We expect interest from all over the world

CAPTION(S):

ACTION MAN Connery, on left, in Thunderball. Top, from left, with Michael Brennan, Philip Locke and Luciana Paluzzi in the smash-hit 1965 movie

GOLDEN BOY The actor with Honor Blackman and, top, with Shirley Eaton in 1964's Goldfinger

007 heaven Collectors from around the world are expected to spark a bidding war for the rare front of house cards featuring Sean Connery as Bond. Above, the star in Dr No, from 1962, with Zena Marshall

SUREFIRE HIT Connery looks on as Claudine Auger shoots Adolfo Celi in Thunderball. Below, the same film

LICENCE TO THRILL The actor and Felix Leiter in Dr No
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 6, 2015
Words:622
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