Indiana Jones' original jacket found in charity shop to sell for £300k

Raiders of the lost shirt! Indiana Jones’ iconic original jacket to sell for £300k after being discovered in charity shop and sold on eBay (before Disney used it to create perfect replica in Harrison Ford’s latest Indy adventure)

  • The shirt was found and borrowed 42 years after the first film was released
  • Forensic analysis revealed it was the shirt used in Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • The shirt is expected to go on sale for around £300,000 at auction 

Indiana Jones’ unique original ‘lost’ shirt which swapped hands for next to nothing via a charity shop and eBay is set to fetch a staggering £300,000 – after recently being discovered and borrowed to make a return after 42 years in this year’s latest Harrison Ford film.

Thanks to advances in technology, after doubts over its authenticity, auctioneers put the shirt through forensic analysis before proving it was the Raiders of the Lost Ark original which costume designers had tried to copy for the intervening Indiana Jones films.

And after the film franchise was sold on without including any of its physical items, the makers of this year’s Dial of Destiny film had nothing to work on for Indiana’s costume and pleaded with auctioneers Propstore to help them.

A call went out to collectors and the original 1981 safari-style cotton shirt resurfaced – with the owner allowing the new Disney costume team to borrow it to create an exact replica for this year’s film.

Now the UK owner is selling it on Thursday for a minimum £150,000 – with an opening bid of £75,000 already in the bag and an estimated sale price of £300,000.

Indiana Jones’ unique original ‘lost’ shirt which swapped hands for next to nothing via a charity shop and eBay is set to fetch a staggering £300,000

The UK owner is selling it on Thursday for a minimum £150,000 – with an opening bid of £75,000 already in the bag

The shirt was originally worn by Harrison Ford (pictured, right) in the very first Indiana Jones movie

Filmmakers have tried to recreate the shirt for years, with varying success

Propstore’s Stephen Lane said: ‘It’s hard to believe that after the film it was next discovered in a charity shop by someone who knew it was from the film and who then put it on eBay. Since then it’s changed hands a couple of times over the last 10 or 15 years.’

Lane told how Indiana Jones film experts initially thought the khaki-coloured shirt may not be genuine even though its label has Ford’s name, and collar and sleeve size.

He said: ‘The costumiers for Indiana Jones were Bermans & Nathans in the UK because Raiders was primarily shot in the UK at Elstree and other locations, but the label said Western Company who are in LA, so initially collectors dismissed it.

‘But after further investigations and conversations with the original costume designers we learned a lot of the fittings for Harrison Ford were done in LA for convenience when production was in its very early stages, so Western ended up producing some of the clothes Harrison was wearing.

‘We undertook a much more thorough and in-depth look to establish the authenticity and we managed to screen match it to scenes in the film thanks to technological advances.

‘We’ve been doing that for 20 plus years but first we had a fuzzy VHS screen, then DVD, then HD, but now with 4K we can look at finer intricacies, whether it be something like the stitching and the weave of a material like this shirt, or the make of buttons.

‘We found the pockets don’t line up – one is higher than the other – like the original. In addition, you have these like pleated tapes that run down the front which were hand-stitched so they pinch the material.

‘We could match the shirt to the very key opening sequence where Harrison Ford escapes a giant rolling boulder after finding the golden fertility idol, and then also to scenes in Cairo.

‘Back during this era, a lot of costumes and props were just hired by the production company, and then if they couldn’t be re-rented they’d be disposed of. The shirt was probably donated to charity to clear space.

‘There was no perception of value as few if any people collected these artefacts.’

Explaining why the owner has now decided to sell, Lane added: ‘The seller just felt with the release of the new film it was a good time to sell – especially with Harrison Ford hanging up his hat.

‘But after we located it, we were contacted by the costume designer on the new film, because when Lucasfilm sold the intellectual property to Disney, George Lucas didn’t allow them to buy physical assets – so Disney had nothing to reference.

‘We managed to find the shirt in the UK, we got the jacket and hat from another collector, and then the trousers and boots from other people. So they were used as a template.’

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