Ray Harryhausen: The Personal Collection of Tony Dalton

Ray Harryhausen Hydra AuctionA mixture of monsters and movie magic is coming to Surrey on December 13, when an incredible collection of artefacts gifted by Hollywood special effects giant Ray Harryhausen is going under the hammer.

Harryhausen, whose films include The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and The Argonauts, Clash of The Titans and One Million Years BC, is one of the most influential figures in cinema history, and is broadly recognised as the master of model stop-motion animation. He has inspired generations of filmmakers including George Lucas, James Cameron, Nick Park, Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg among many others. George Lucas once said: “There would have been no Star Wars without Ray Harryhausen.”

The collection going on sale on December 13, belongs to film historian, producer and author Tony Dalton, a long-time friend of Harryhausen, who worked with him for more than 40 years, as his biographer (compiling and writing a total of five volumes) and worked for him organising his Foundation and archive.

Most of the items in the collection were given directly to Dalton by Harryhausen as gifts, others from sources such as Columbia Pictures UK or were related to his work on publicity for several of the Harryhausen films. All of the items have unrivalled provenance and are auctioned with a signed letter from Tony Dalton for each individual lot.Ray Harryhausen Auction

His intricate, beautifully-detailed stop-motion models, were painstakingly and minutely moved to create fantastical scenes, which still equal today’s CGI equivalents. These include the iconic skeleton army scene, from Jason and the Argonauts, one of Harryhausen’s most famous and breath-taking works, which sees seven ‘living’ skeletons going into battle against Jason and his warriors.

Harryhausen created incredible worlds and creatures which have amazed and delighted millions of moviegoers all over the world, so we are expecting huge interest, globally, in the artefacts going on sale.

Highlights include a prototype Hydra head and neck, made for the 1963 film Jason and the Argonauts. It measures seven inches high and is made of hard rubber with a central metal rod providing support and was painted by Ray himself. This was one of Harryhausen’s most difficult stop-motion creatures to create due to the numerous independently moving heads.

An early dinosaur armature, for a drytosaur for the unrealised film ‘Evolution Of The World’, made by Harryhausen between 1938 and 1940, is also going on sale. Made of metal with ball and socket joints, it shows his great technical ability, one of the key aspects of his unique art.

A production-used wooden clapperboard from the 1981 epic ‘Clash Of The Titans’ which starred Laurence Olivier, is certain to see huge interest. This was Harryhausen’s final major movie project, and featured the mighty Kraken, a giant sea-monster and the legendary Medusa. The clapperboard, bearing hand-written chalk date detail, was given to Dalton by Harryhausen, who kept another for himself.Harryhausen Auction

So if you’re a special effect buff or simply a movie fan wanting a true piece of film history, make sure you check out the full sale catalogue online at www.ewbankauctions.co.uk