Costumes to go under the hammer

By Becky HallewellTHOUSANDS of costumes, including Scooby-Doo, Ali G and even a suit of armour appearing in the epic film Gladiator, are to fall under the auctioneer's hammer.

By Becky Hallewell

THOUSANDS of costumes, including Scooby-Doo, Ali G and even a suit of armour appearing in the epic film Gladiator, are to fall under the auctioneer's hammer.

Theatrical costumier Magpyes has decided to call it a day after trading in Colchester for six years.

Its entire wardrobe of about 25,000 costume items will be auctioned tomorrow at Reeman Dansie in Colchester.


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Price estimates start at £5, with many costumes expected to be sold for considerably less than their original hire-out charge.

Tansy Pye, wardrobe mistress at Magpyes, said: “It's bargain central. The majority is going to be picked up for peanuts - everything's got to go.”

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The most expensive lot, estimated at between £500 and £1,000, is the suit of armour worn by actor Ivan Kristof in Gladiator.

But many other specialist wardrobe items are included in the sale, each with its own story to tell.

“There are three suits of plate mail armour - like a knight. They've proposed marriage four times. One customer even hired a horse to complete his proposal,” said Ms Pye.

“We've a panto horse and donkey with moving pieces. Our Georgian pirates were very special and they'd started to propose as well.”

Ms Pye, whose mother owned the costumier, said she had mixed feelings at parting with the costumes, despite estimated proceeds of about £15,000.

“It's heartbreaking, having looked after and taken care of my 'children'. I am a magpie by nature, I'm such a hoarder of things - sparkly things,” she added.

“I've spent so long repairing and mending things, but I wish everyone well who'll come along and buy things. It's been a fun six years. This is our final last hurrah to amateur theatre.”

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