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Movie Props

From costumes to newspapers and wall hangings to cars, the world of movie props and movie memorabilia is about as diverse as the industry itself. The collecting and selling of all things "big screen" is not only enjoyable for a collector wanting to gain a touch of nostalgia, but also a catalyst for good will when production companies and private collectors donate sales proceeds to charitable causes.

The word “prop” is short for “property,” and the first use of theatrical props dates as far back as ancient Greece. The dawn of filmmaking brought on large and tediously constructed film sets as well as costumes, weapons, and other movable items. Highly collectible now, some of the first movie props and movie memorabilia were given away, thrown out, and even buried after completion of filming. Recently, archeologists near Guadalupe, California uncovered a plaster sphinx from the 1923 film "The Ten Commandments." The set had been buried in the dunes.

For practical reasons, many props are created in multiples for movie sets and are untouched by actors themselves, making used props the most sought after. Regardless, many factors play a role in determining values, including a film’s age, popularity of actors, box office resurgence, and notable events.


Quick Facts

  • Marilyn Monroe’s famous white dress from the movie, “The Seven Year Itch,” gathered $4.6 million at a Beverly Hills auction in June 2011
  • A “hero prop” is one personally used by an actor or in a movie. This prop type is highly detailed and functional, and is used in close-up filming
  • In 2005, a pair of ruby slippers from the original “Wizard of Oz” film was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. There are only four known pairs in existence, and a $1 million reward exists for the whereabouts of the missing pair
  • Find out how specific Hollywood props and memorabilia become available for sale on Invaluable.

Recommended Items at Auction

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Gremlins 2 Lifesize Vinyl Prop Replica
Nov 04, 11:00 AM EDT
Gremlins 2 Lifesize Vinyl Prop Replica
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $400- $600
$1105 Bids
Batman Begins Batarang Movie Prop Replica
Nov 04, 11:00 AM EDT
Batman Begins Batarang Movie Prop Replica
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $200
$202 Bids
License to Kill Money Prop
Nov 04, 11:00 AM EDT
License to Kill Money Prop
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $50- $100
$101 Bid
PUNX (LUDWIG HANNEMAN). PUNX’S CLOSE-UP CASE. THREE-TIER LE...
Oct 30, 10:00 AM CDT
PUNX (LUDWIG HANNEMAN). PUNX’S CLOSE-UP CASE. THREE-TIER LE...
by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$5000 Bids
David Powell (MT,b 1954) oil painting
Dec 12, 11:45 AM EST
David Powell (MT,b 1954) oil painting
by Broward Auction Gallery
Est: $950- $1,250
$5750 Bids
EXTER ALEXANDRA (1882 - 1949) Chief of Atomic Power.
Oct 26, 11:00 AM CEST
EXTER ALEXANDRA (1882 - 1949) Chief of Atomic Power.
by Capitolium Art
Est: €2,500- €3,500
€5000 Bids
Marcel Vertes Watercolor Painting
Nov 06, 12:00 PM EDT
Marcel Vertes Watercolor Painting
by Palm Beach Modern Auctions
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$7500 Bids
Film Processing Tank by Morse Instrument Co
Nov 06, 12:30 PM EDT
Film Processing Tank by Morse Instrument Co
by Smith Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
Al Jolson | Two Contracts with Columbia (signed)
Nov 13, 11:00 AM EST
Al Jolson | Two Contracts with Columbia (signed)
by Second Story Books
Est: $300- $600
$2000 Bids
Peter Lawford Documents, with TLS of Daryl Zanuck
Nov 13, 11:00 AM EST
Peter Lawford Documents, with TLS of Daryl Zanuck
by Second Story Books
Est: $250- $400
$1750 Bids
Pulp Fiction Vincent Vega ID Prop
Oct 30, 9:00 AM PDT
Pulp Fiction Vincent Vega ID Prop
by Heroes and Legends
Est: $400- $600
$1000 Bids
James Bond Casino Royale Secret Intelligence Service ID prop
Oct 30, 9:00 AM PDT
James Bond Casino Royale Secret Intelligence Service ID prop
by Heroes and Legends
Est: $400- $500
$1000 Bids
Whale spear movie prop
Oct 29, 11:30 PM EDT
Whale spear movie prop
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $300- $350
$2500 Bids
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Danny Trejo Signed Machete COA JSA movie / Prop
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Danny Trejo Signed Machete COA JSA movie / Prop
by Activity Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1000 Bids
Rare Working Script for "Long Day's Journey Into Night"
Nov 13, 11:00 AM EST
Rare Working Script for "Long Day's Journey Into Night"
by Second Story Books
Est: $150- $300
$1000 Bids
Thomas Edison | Two Signed Contracts and Six ALS
Nov 13, 11:00 AM EST
Thomas Edison | Two Signed Contracts and Six ALS
by Second Story Books
Est: $5,000- $8,000
$3,5000 Bids
"Jennie Gerhardt" | Script Presentation Copy (1933)
Nov 13, 11:00 AM EST
"Jennie Gerhardt" | Script Presentation Copy (1933)
by Second Story Books
Est: $200- $450
$1500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Movie Props


Second Story Books

Second Story Books

Bodnar's Auction Sales

Bodnar's Auction Sales

Heroes and Legends

Heroes and Legends

Smith Auction Company

Smith Auction Company