A RARE collection of original props, scripts and behind-the-scenes photos from the Monty Python films have sold for more than £30,000.
The perfectly preserved collection belonged to special effects model maker Val Charlton from Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, who worked on the series..
The lots included cheeky personalised messages to her from all of the cast, accounts of life on set and candid photographs.
Ms Charlton worked on Monty Python and the Holy Grail in 1975, and made one of the items sold at auction, a miniature version of the wooden Trojan rabbit.
It was used in a scene where King Arthur and his knights planned to conceal themselves inside a giant wooden rabbit as a ruse to enter a French castle.
The model was attached to a fishing wire to simulate its flight as it’s catapulted over the castle wall.
The Trojan rabbit sold for £9,600.
Accompanying the rabbit was a copy of the book Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which goes into lavish detail about the making of the film, including a reproduction of the script.
The handwritten foreword by Ms Charlton says: “In those four weeks on what was to become an iconic British film, I met many people who have remained life long friends.
“It was the beginning of my career as a special effects model maker.
“But I don’t think any of us then would have dreamed that some 40 years later that film and the memories surrounding it would retain such resonance.”
Two fiberglass knights helmets used in the film fetched almost £4,000, as well as a production-used 87-page script and behind-the-scenes photos of stars Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin.
And a 1973 hardback copy of The Brand New Monty Python Book based on The Flying Circus and including personalised messages from the cast to Ms Charlton fetched £1,100.
A signed note from Cleese, which playfully teases Valerie’s partner, Julian, says: “To Val, with love and liberal thoughts. This copy is not for Julian.”
Peter Cooper, researcher and copywriter at The Prop Store in London, which sold the memorabilia, said: “Anything like this that is so personal generates a lot of interest from fans.
“They give you a rare insight into the reality behind the production, and it is really interesting seeing the personalised messages and annotations.
“It gives you a real feel of the fun they had making the films and their humour.”