An original Darth Vader helmet, mask and set of shoulder armour from the Star Wars movie 'The Empire Strikes Back' was on display in Calabasas, California, on Tuesday ahead of its expected sale at a high-profile auction.
''We are expecting bids from all over the world for the helmet," explained Brian Chanes, Head of Consignments and Acquisitions of the auction house Profiles in History. He added that price estimates range from $250,000-450,000 (€227,000-408,000) for the helmet alone, with the shoulder armour potentially fetching $60,000-80,000 (€54,000-73,000).
The importance of the piece for fans and the rareness of the item itself add to the expected price. Chanes described the lot as "exceedingly rare," with "only a handful [being] known to exist in private hands."
The 1980 movie was the second instalment of the first Star Wars trilogy, a franchise which has enjoyed notable success since it launched in 1977.
The item will be available at the 'Icons and Legends of Hollywood' auction. The event also features items such as 'Dorothy's' dress from 'The Wizard of Oz', a dress worn by Kate Winslet in 'Titanic' and an original set of Daniel Radcliffe's famous round glasses from 'Harry Potter.'
The auction is set to take place on September 25 and 26 and is reportedly expected to fetch more than $10 million (€9 million).