Rare James Bond cinema cards featuring Sir Sean Connery as 007 for sale at auction

A COLLECTION of rare promotional cards that gave cinema-goers their first glimpse of Scottish screen idol Sir Sean Connery as James Bond, is expected to fetch thousands of pounds at auction this tomorrow.

By George Mair
Monday, 12th October 2020, 12:30 am
Updated Monday, 12th October 2020, 11:19 am
Front of house cards for Connery's 1962 debut as James Bond in Dr No in 1962
Front of house cards for Connery's 1962 debut as James Bond in Dr No in 1962

The 8x10in "front of house stills" were displayed in cinemas in the 1960s to advertise the new films and introduce the world's most famous literary spy to fans of the silver screen.

They feature classic sequences from Dr. No - the movie that launched Edinburgh-born Connery to stardom in 1962 - and later Bond films including From Russia With Love; Goldfinger; Thunderball and You Only Live Twice.

The cards offered a tantalising preview of Connery as the secret agent from Ian Fleming's novels as well as villains Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Auric Goldfinger and Oddjob and Bond girls like Honey Ryder, played by Ursula Andress, and Honor Blackman's Pussy Galore.

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From Russia With Love poster could sell for up to £6,000

The r cards will go under the hammer at Bonhams' Entertainment Memorabilia sale in London, more than 50 years after they appeared in cinema lobbies.

Katherine Schofield, Bonhams' head of entertainment memorabilia, said: "As cinemas got larger they had lots of space to fill and they were looking for more imagery to entice people to the next film.

"Front of house stills - known as lobby cards in America - were sent to the cinemas, framed up and displayed within the lobby in sequence rather like a mini trailer to show key scenes in the film.

"They had the power to really entice an audience. Ian Fleming's books were well read and the anticipation of how Bond would be brought to the cinema was huge, so it was a very exciting moment in cinema history.

Connery as Bond in Goldfinger from 1964

"Of course Sean Connery was very dashing, but in these colourful images you've also got the villains, the Bond girls and the gadgets to get people even more excited about the film.

"Only a limited amount were produced and when the film finished screening, they would be just thrown out. Some did survive, possibly kept as souvenirs by people who worked in the cinemas.

"A few of these were treasured by their owners and more than 50 years on we are very lucky that the ones we are offering are all in very good condition. Hopefully they will find another treasured home."

Sir Sean, recently voted the best Bond in a Radio Times poll, played 007 in seven films before starring in hit movies including The Untouchables, for which he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor; Indiana Jones and the last Crusade, opposite Harrison Ford; The Hunt for Red October; and The Rock.

Front of house cards for 1965's Thunderball

The collections, including Dr. No; From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965) and You Only Live Twice (1967), could each fetch £300-400.

Also in the sale, a US cinema poster for Dr No. is valued at £1000-1500 while a rare UK poster promoting the follow up, From Russia With Love, is estimated at £4000-6000.

An iconic poster for Goldfinger once displayed in a British cinema could make £3500-4500 while one from Diamonds Are Forever (1971), is set to fetch £600-800.

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