By Alex Green, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter
An original piece of concept artwork for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back has sold at auction for £53,125 (€62,000).
The full-colour painted piece from 1980, the year the film was released, went under the hammer as part of the Prop Store’s live cinema poster online auction, which fetched a total of more than £384,000.
The piece by Josh Kirby was expected to sell for up to £8,000.
The second film in the Star Wars film series, The Empire Strikes Back became the highest-grossing film that year, earning around 401.5 million US dollars worldwide.
The artwork features characters from the franchise including Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo and the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO.
Elsewhere in the sale, a Star Wars film poster from 1978 wishing its recipient a happy first birthday sold for £5,000.
Another poster, from Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977 featuring the tagline “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” sold for £4,062.
Other posters featured among the lots were for films such as Apocalypse Now, The Brides Of Dracula, The Day The Earth Stood Still and Evil Dead.
Prop Store chief executive Stephen Lane said: “We continue to exceed all expectations and produce another phenomenal auction.
“Alternative movie posters continue to increase in popularity and value, and items from the Bryan Fuller and Charles Lippincott collections sold exceptionally well.
“Our global bidders were very active throughout the auction and we’re looking forward to presenting another outstanding collection of posters in April 2022.”
Mark Hochman, the auction house’s poster expert, added: “Prop Store’s first two-day poster auction proved to be a special event and more successful than we could have hoped for in the current climate, with our Star Wars content proving incredibly popular and very well received with an incredible £53,125 being achieved for our Empire Strikes Back original artwork painting.
“There were certainly some impressive sale prices across the whole auction with the Howard Kazanjian and Bryan Fuller collections reaching impressive prices, with once again our Alternative Movie Poster offerings one of the standout categories.”