No Time To Buy: The Christie’s Sixty Years of James Bond Charity Auction

Cost of living crisis? Inflation? Zero pay rise? Well, you can have your Bond DB5 or bionic eye, painlessly, free and virtually… at the Christie’s James Bond charity auction.

To celebrate Bond’s 60th birthday, various memorabilia is being auctioned for a wide variety of charities. Sixty Years of James Bond | Christie’s (christies.com)

I’ve never watched a live auction before — it was thrilling (and safely on YouTube so I couldn’t bid by mistake!) https://youtu.be/d_6DVs65HJw

If you’re feeling braver, you can be online! (and there is still time to put in a bid for the second lots) — Sixty Years of James Bond: Part II — Online Auction (christies.com)

Not wanting a ‘one million pounds’ moment and aware that Nectar/Boots points are not acceptable currency in trade for a DB5 or DBS with 14 miles on the clock, I enjoyed my evening. Miss Moneypenny (Samantha Bond) was in the audience. Various Bonds and Cate Blanchett beamed in to get the prices rising. But for me it was the auctioneer who made the evening — consummately professional, entertaining. theatrical and persuasively encouraging bidders to give just a bit more with a lean forward and a raised eyebrow a la Roger Moore. It was a wonderful performance with perfect pitches.

Equally entertaining were the glamourous bid takers on the phones, fielding Japan, France and elsewhere, competing with ‘Mr Bond’, other live (in the room bidders) and those online. At one point the online bids crashed; the room paused and patiently waited to restore connection before beginning again. On YouTube you also get to see the totals flashing upwards.

The DB5 complete with guns from No Time To Die went for nearly £3 million. Strangely cheap were the 007 (7th off the production line) No Time To Die Land Rover at £150,000 or the sleek SuperLeggara DBS at £320,000. Paloma’s beautiful dress and accessories (turns out the garter is for bullets!) was bought by ‘Mr Bond?!!) for a cheap £30,000. The real bidding wars were over Bond bow ties and the watches….Astonishingly, a £37,000 Jag!!!!

My favourite moment was the sale of a genuine fake at auction — a ‘Faberge’ egg courtesy of Octopussy and Aspreys. What a palming off of a fake, yet a genuine guaranteed fake, fiction becoming reality moment!

The final prices shown vary somewhat from the YouTube live auction so perhaps people added to their bids afterwards. Sixty Years of James Bond: Part I — Live Auction (christies.com)

It is a great watch though and you can curiously wonder who now is the proud owner of a hardly-used bionic eye. Hope it’s not Spectre! Definitely encouraged me to watch more live Christie’s events (and you can go to Christie’s London and see wonderful things for free!) Happily, though Bond himself could not be bought and remains happily at large to die another day!

You can also download the catalogue as a PDF for free, browse it online or if you have cash to spare, purchase your own souvenir edition for £50, dreaming of what you’d bid for, and for how much! Sixty Years of James Bond | Christie’s (christies.com)

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Susan Tailby

Susan Tailby

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By Susan Tailby. Appreciator of arts and culture; things I've seen and enjoyed and you might too! Reviews all my own opinion....