Willy Wonka golden ticket

1971 production-made Willy Wonka golden ticket, £40,000 at Bonhams.

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A Willy Wonka golden ticket went to one lucky bidder on June 12 at Bonhams, selling for double the estimate at £40,000 (plus 28% buyer’s premium).

The original 1971 production-made ticket with a printed inscription reading ‘Greetings to you, the finder of this Golden Ticket, from Mr. Willy Wonka!’ carried an estimate of £15,000-20,000.

According to the auction house, the rare golden ticket was gifted to the vendor in the late 1970s by a family friend who had been working in the film industry in LA during this time. The lot was accompanied by a letter of provenance.

Director Mel Stuart kept tight controls on the prop golden tickets produced for the film and as such they rarely appear on the market. Almost all known examples previously sold have been from cast members, including that belonging to Julie Dawn Cole, who played Veruca Salt in the original film. In 2019, she sold her golden ticket and a Wonka bar prop at Catherine Southon Auctioneers & Valuers in Surrey for £13,000.

Further highlights

More TV and film memorabilia is set to hit the auction room. A personal typed and signed letter from Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) to Rebecca assistant director Edmond Bernoudy, apologising for the latter’s omission from the next film, heads to International Autograph Auctions in Malaga, Spain on June 25-27. Dated July 31, 1940, it carries a €2000-3000 estimate.

That sale will be followed by Elvis Presley’s blue suede shoes, worn for his performance on the NBC Steve Allen Show in 1956, which will appear at Henry Aldridge & Son in Wiltshire on June 28-29.

Presley made reference to the shoes on the show before he sang, I Want You, I Need You, I Love You and they carry an estimate of £100,000-120,000.