Written July 26, 2022, at 10:00 a.m
Knocked down, sold: $2.3 million. This miniature spaceship flew to the gold price last June during an auction organized in Los Angeles. And for good reason, it’s not just any toy: The object is the model of an X-Wing used in 1976 for the filming of the movie Star Wars A new hope. An almost unique piece – most of these copies were destroyed on set – and which fascinates fans of the saga.
Have also been auctioned in recent years the volleyball named Wilson from the movie Alone in the World (2000), sold for 187,500 dollars, or the Indiana Jones Traveler hat, which went for 300,000 dollars. At the origin of these unprecedented transactions, the American auction house Prop Store, a big name in auctions of movie accessories. She trusts several hundred collectors of ordinary objects, made unique by their mere presence in front of the cameras, who then fall into what auctioneers call “memorabilia”: they become famous thanks to their identification with a film or series.
Individual loft spaces
The collections are most of the time put on the market by furnishing rental companies who, thanks to their registers, ensure the provenance of the objects. Sometimes, however, some emerge from individuals’ attics and are therefore difficult to certify. “The possibilities of counterfeiting are significant,” explains Alexandre Millon, auctioneer. “In the art market there are committees that analyze the work and tell you whether it is authentic or not, but for these pop culture objects we can only rely on its provenance. It is a real challenge, an inquisition with the owner. »
Make room for NFTs
To ease this daunting task and reassure buyers, a Val-d’Oise company wants to position itself upstream of the sale. During the production of an object dedicated to a filming, its use or when it has been authenticated with security, NFT4ALL wants to propose the owner to apply a tamper-proof sticker attesting to its origin. “These are very thin small chips on which we will be able to record information and read it on the phone thanks to NFC technology (Near Fear Communication, technology for exchanging data at a short distance between a reader and a terminal, ed. note) explains Angel Nguyen Van Ho, one of the co-founders of NFT4ALL.
Thanks to this certification, the company intends to allow collectors to dispense with a trusted third party, but also to offer unprecedented visibility to these products thanks to the Internet. The chips should actually be accompanied by the creation of a digital certificate of ownership: an NFT. “The goal is to create links between physical objects and the blockchain to bring them to the market, to promote them” explains Frédéric Jonchet, co-founder.
Supporter or opponent of auctions
This concept, which could simplify the authentication procedures for auctioneers, Alexandre Millon looks at with caution: “And if this company makes a mistake and registers a fake? Blockchain, we will not catch up. Despite this risk, the professional notices a certain consistency between auctioning of objects from pop culture and NFTs. “We make an object whose value is proportional to the consumption that has been made of it: the greater the notoriety, the more his desire to own it, and therefore its value increases. »
Thus, at a time when art auctions are seeing their popularity decline, an online community would agree on the exchange value of Harry Potter’s wand or Harry Potter’s white robe Marilyn Monroe. “It seems that the desire for worship supersedes the need for culture,” concluded Alexandre Millon.
5 key figures in Ile-de-France cinema
Use : 150,000 residents of Ile-de-France, including 19,000 in permanent positions, work in the cinema industry
Company : 6,133 companies in the sector are in Ile-de-France
Meeting point: 50% of French film shoots take place in the region
Public support: 25 million euros in aid has been granted by the region in 2021 for the 7th art.
Rooms: 311 cinemas, i.e. 1,147 halls are counted in the area