Dr Who photographs snapped up

An archive of colour negatives and photographs from the early days of the long-running Dr Who TV series were one of the top lots in a recent eclectic auction in London.

An archive of early Dr Who photographs and negatives

Rosebery’s London’s latest Fine & Decorative auction saw the archive eventually hammer down at £5,200, far above its pre-sale guide of £800 to £1,200.

George III ormolu and blue-john hardstone cassolettesThis archive contained vivid colour negatives and modern photographs of sets designed by Derek Dodd (1937-2018) for the Doctor Who series The Power of the Daleks, first broadcast by the BBC in six weekly parts from November to December 1966. Famously, the master tapes of all six episodes from the series were erased in the late 1960s, while the copies kept for foreign sales on 16mm film were destroyed in 1974. Their destruction meant that the only information to survive on the series was limited to stills photography and films made by fans when the programmes were broadcast.

The group included photos of the actors and a candid shot of the Doctor played by Patrick Troughton.

Elsewhere in the sale, more traditional items also performed well, including:

  • a rare pair of period George III ormolu and blue-john hardstone cassolettes attributed to the great industrial pioneer Matthew Boulton (1728-1809). The pair made £15,000, which was £5,000 more than the top guide 
  • a decorative box retailed by Parkins & Gotto with the silver lock, escutcheon and hinges by George Betjeman & Sons, London 1878. Showing a scene of a boat entering a forted harbour with buildings on the shore and people looking on, it sold for £1,900
  • an elegant Regency cabinet with design elements to the influential furniture maker and sculptor, George Bullock (c.1777-1818), made £2,700
  • a late 19th/early 20th-century wrought-iron wine racking from the Cafe Royal Wine Cellar, together with bottle racks zinc measures and other pieces sold for £3,200

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