The cloak worn by Sir Alec Guinness in the original Star Wars films has been auctioned for £54,000.

The otherwise modest brown hooded robe, the signature attire of Guinness' character Obi-Wan Kenobi in the iconic movies, was the subject of a determined battle between two telephone bidders at what was believed to be the UK's largest auction of archive film and television costumes, yesterday.

Knightsbridge auction house, Bonhams, said that the sale, which included the auctioning of items from cult films and TV programmes including James Bond, Monty Python and Only Fools and Horses, had attracted "tremendous international interest".

The force was clearly with Angels the Costumiers, the company auctioning off the pieces, at yesterday's sale, as a range of movie and TV memorabilia fetched prices out of this world.

Having discovered the missing Star Wars cloak, which had lain long forgotten about in a warehouse for a number of years, Angels decided to make more than 400 of its costumes available for sale to collectors and fans, saying that the move was prompted by the rising cost of storing and insuring the pieces.

Among the film and TV treasures sold yesterday was a dinner suit worn by Sean Connery in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball, which sold for £33,600 and the full outfit worn by Mel Gibson when he starred as William Wallace in Braveheart, with the kilt ensemble fetching £25,200.

Meanwhile, in the world of television, the Batman and Robin costumes adorned by David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst for an episode of the much-loved comedy Only Fools and Horses sold for £10,200, while a Dr Who promotional costume worn by actor Tom Baker in the sci-fi series fetched £24,600.

Commenting on the auction, Angels chairman Tim Angel said: "We always intended for this sale to appeal to both the big international collectors of memorabilia and also to members of the general public keen to get their hands on a piece of movie history."

"We are pleased that today has seen our wishes fulfilled and established that there is a clear market for such memorabilia."

07/03/2007 06:56:08