A yellow jumpsuit worn by martial arts star Bruce Lee in his last film sold for HK$780,000 ($100,600) in a Hong Kong auction.
The outfit designed and worn by Lee in the 1972 movie “Game of Death” sold for more than twice its high estimate of HK$300,000, auction house Spink China said in a press release.
The auction, held to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Lee’s death in 1973, offered 14 lots of memorabilia on Dec. 5 that earned more than HK$2 million, including HK$540,000 paid for a “nunchaku” or chainsticks, a martial arts weapon used in the film.
“Something like the jumpsuit has never been offered before,” said Anna Lee, vice chairman of Spink China. “Comparatively speaking, it’s still very very inexpensive compared with something from Marilyn Monroe.”
The films of Lee, who was just 32 when he died, have accorded him cult status, driving up prices of items such as a pair of his kung fu shoes from the film “Walk in the Footsteps of the Master” and a bamboo whip.
Lee was born in San Francisco and grew up in Hong Kong, where he began training under Chinese martial arts master Yip Man at the age of 13, according to the Bruce Lee Foundation website. He taught kung fu to support his study at the University of Washington, where he majored in philosophy, and later opened a number of kung fu schools around the U.S.
“I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States,” Lee wrote in a letter dated 1969. “In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor.”
Spink’s Lee said the Hong Kong sale was the first stand-alone auction of the movie star’s memorabilia in the city. The biggest auction of Lee’s possessions was held in Beverly Hills in 1993 by his widow Linda Lee Caldwell with more than 200 items for sale, Lee said.
Lee is best known for his kung fu film “Enter the Dragon,” and his role in “The Green Hornet” U.S. television show.
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