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Latest News

This movie prop up for auction looks much more legit - Rohan Ax prop at RR Auction

June 26, 2014 — Submitted by Urulöké

Rohan Ax Prop RR Auction
Note for those interested, this auction is closing TODAY, you must bid by 6PM Eastern Time (1 AM June 27, GMT).

RR Auction has a Two Towers / Return of the King movie prop running now, and the authenticity looks very good, and RR Auction is also very good about their certification and guarantees. Take a look!

#407 - Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Return of the King
Rohan soldier’s ax used in two films of Jackson’s epic Tolkien trilogy, including the Battle of Helm’s Deep

Incredibly detailed and realistic screen-used Rohan soldier's axe used in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Return of The King. Ax features a blade made from dense rubber, measuring 11″ long, and features beautifully intricate engravings that are reminiscent of Viking craftsmanship. As the soldiers of Rohan were known for being expert cavalrymen, the ax also features a small horse head above the shoulder. Blade is attached to a 28.5″ resin handle that has been painted to appear wooden. Minor wear from production use, otherwise fine condition. Rohan is a realm of men in the world of Middle-earth, and axes of this style can be seen wielded by the soldiers of Rohan, particularly during the epic battle of Helm's Deep. RR Auction COA.

As of this writing (approximately 5 hours before open bidding closes) the current bid is at $1026+$230 buyers premium, or $1256 total. [Update]: The item was withdrawn before closing, presumably because it did not meet a hidden reserve. [End update]

Rohan Ax movie prop screenshot

New book - Tolkien's Sacramental Vision: Discerning the Holy in Middle Earth

June 25, 2014 — Submitted by Urulöké

Tolkien's Sacramental Vision: Discerning the Holy in Middle Earth is a newly published book by Craig Bernthal, Professor of English at California State University, Fresno. From the Angelico Press announcement, "This new book by the author of The Trial of Man examines in depth the influence of Catholic sacramentality on the thought and work of Tolkien." I have requested a review copy and will have it in hand soon to review [side note, is there anyone here who would like a stab at reviewing this book? Let me know!] In the interim, here is the press release from the publisher:

Tolkien's Sacramental Vision

Tolkien’s Sacramental Vision

Discerning the Holy in Middle Earth

Craig Bernthal

ONE OF TOLKIEN’S great appeals to readers is that he offers a world replete with meaning at every level. To read and reread Tolkien is to fall in love with a universe that has a beginning and an end, where good and bad are not subjective choices, but objective realities; a created order full of grace, though damaged by sin, in which friendship is the seedbed of the virtues, and where the greatest warriors finally become the greatest healers.

  A correspondent once told J. R. R. Tolkien that his work seemed illumined “by an invisible lamp.” That lamp is the Church, and its light is the imaginative sensibility that we live in a sacramental world. This new book by the author of The Trial of Man examines in depth the influence of Catholic sacramentality on the thought and work of Tolkien, and is a signal contribution to a deeper understanding of his mythological world.

“Craig Bernthal demonstrates that Tolkien’s literary vision was profoundly and concretely sacramental, and his magnificent retelling of the entire Cosmic Story shaped by the Church’s most basic theological claims and its quite specific sacraments. In making these visible for the first time, Bernthal provides us with a lens for a fresh look at Tolkien.”—RALPH C. WOOD, author of The Gospel According to Tolkien

“Bernthal’s is a unique study in fully establishing the centrality of St. John the Divine in Tolkien’s life and thought. He shows, compellingly, that the sacraments of the Eucharist and penance structure the legendarium, and that The Lord of the Rings truly is a book of signs.”—ALISON MILBANK, author of Chesterton and Tolkien as Theologians

“Through his academic work, his heroic fiction and legendarium, and his sanctified mythic vision, Tolkien revealed worlds of beauty and terror. In his new book, Craig Bernthal wondrously uncovers the numerous layers in Tolkien’s thought as well as the nuances, the trajectories, and even the empty spaces, immense with possibilities.”—BRADLEY J. BIRZER, author of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth

“Having enjoyed Craig Bernthal’s excellent book on Shakespeare, I am delighted that he has turned the keen edge of his considerable intellect to the Catholicism of Middle-earth. This is a work that will thrill and enthrall all those who wish to delve deeper into Tolkien’s world.”—JOSEPH PEARCE, author of Tolkien: Man & Myth and Bilbo’s Journey: Discovering the Hidden Meaning of The Hobbit.

CRAIG BERNTHAL is Professor of English at California State University, Fresno, where he has taught Shakespeare and Renaissance literature for 26 years. He has published articles, essays, short fiction, and two books: The Trial of Man: Christianity and Judgment in the World of Shakespeare and Perfection in Bad Axe, a book of short stories. He is especially interested in the ideas of quest and pilgrimage in literature and in life.

Are these real Hobbit and LOTR movie props for auction?

June 20, 2014 — Submitted by Urulöké

[Update below]

Premeire Props is having their Hollywood Auction Extravaganza XIV on June 21-22 in California. Included in this auction are quite a few listings labeled as from the first two Hobbit Films and the three Lord of the Rings movies. A linked list of these items is included below if you are interested.

It is important to keep in mind that provenance and authenticity are of absolute importance when collecting movie props. Premiere Props offers certificates of authenticity for any items that they sell through their website (see their terms here) but those same terms do not generally apply to their weekly auctions such as this one, where items are typically consigned by other sellers. For the live auction items, each item description details the provenance and authenticity guarantees that each item comes with. For example, here is an item from the X-Men films, where the item description states "actual hero screen used claws", "These are the hero rubber versions worn by Jackman", "The blades come with a Letter of Provenience from producer Lauren Shuler Donner", and "This item also comes with a Movie Props DNA", which is a system of authenticity that Premiere Props uses to authenticate items even after they are sold.

Now, if you read all of the below item descriptions, you will note that not once is it mentioned that these are screen used, none of the items comes with a certificate of authenticity, and no provenance at all is mentioned for any of these listings. Bidder and buyer beware!!! It is certainly possible that some, many or all of these are legitimate props, but as a buyer you will be very hard pressed indeed to document this for insurance purposes or later if you should want to sell them again.

[Update]I just now received this email in response to my queries to them:

All come from a guy who works on the props in these films. Premiere Props will provide a COA.

So the provenance for these items is "a guy". The Certificate of Authenticity is nice, though! [End Update]

Premiere Props has been documented as having some questionable practices in the past, primarily via the Original Prop Blog - for example, knowingly trying to sell a fake prop: "So, in short… Premiere Props listed a fake prop for sale as authentic… was subsequently told that it was fake… they left it up for sale anyway, and then changed it to an authentic fake, with a $200 start price… a price which was realized at auction with a single bid, yet the item was not sold?" And

The Lord of the Rings
392: Lord of the Rings Production Practice Sword Movie Prop
393: Lord of the Rings Return of the King Cup Movie Props
394: Lord of the Rings Two Towers Cup Move Props
396: Lord of the Rings Two Towers Necklace Prop
397: Lord of the Rings Return of the King Flail Weapon Prop
398: Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring Necklace Prop
399: Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring Rams Horn Prop
446: Lord of the Rings Two Towers Elephant Riders Sword Prop
536: Lord of the Rings Fellowship Practice Sword
537: Lord of the Rings Production Practice Sword Prop
717: The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug Dwarf Pants Costume
718: The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey Deer Hoof Dagger
719: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Cup Prop
720: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Cup Prop
721: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Village Box Prop

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