Rare Darth Vader costume going under hammer

Darth Vader costume The costume is thought to have been custom-made for the Star Wars series

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A rare Darth Vader costume made for Star Wars film The Empire Strikes Back is to be sold at auction next month.

It is expected to fetch up to £230,000 when it goes under the hammer at Christie's in London on 25 November.

Comprising a helmet, a mask, shoulder armour and shin guards, it is believed to be the first complete Vader costume ever to be offered at auction.

Neil Roberts of Christie's said the sale presented "a rare opportunity to Star Wars fans around the world".

"Darth Vader is defined by his costume which has made him one of the most recognised characters from the history of film," he said.

"The global appeal of the Star Wars films, and the interest that the series has attracted from a number of generations, is perhaps unprecedented in the world of cinema," added Mr Roberts.

The costume was acquired by a US private collector in 2003.

A percentage of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to Cancer Research UK.

Costume items from classic films are attracting increasingly high prices when offered at auction.

In 2007 a pink cocktail dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's sold at Christie's in New York for more than six times its estimate.

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