Monday, June 19, 2017

Alliterative Dark Shadows prop going up for auction

DARK SHADOWS was a weird television series. Consequently, it sometimes had some weird credits.

Exhibits A-C: The crew took precautions to mark off sets designated for use in the closing credits, but that didn't stop actors to making accidental cameo appearances during an episode's final moments. Ohrbach's, the department store that provided many of the contemporary costumes worn on the series, had it's name often misspelled in the credits. And, in one episode, a crew member can be seen walking casually by a second-story window.

Even when things went right, the credits were still pretty weird. For example is "Bat by Bil Baird," a simple piece of alliteration that credited a puppeteer used in several episodes. Along with wife Cora, Bil Baird was an innovator in puppetry for much of the 20th century. His work on DARK SHADOWS is little more than a footnote compared to some of the other achievements in his career, such as producing “The Lonely Goatherd” sequence in THE SOUND OF MUSIC and training Jim Henson.

Still, I suspect he enjoyed his days on the set of DARK SHADOWS, if for no other reason than the surrealist opportunity to attack actors with a wooden bat on a wire. More than a year ago, the prop went up for auction on Ebay with a "buy it now" price of $148,000. I have trouble visualizing dollar amounts in that range and can't speculate to the accuracy of that price tag.

But: The prop will be going up for auction again later this month with a starting bud of $30,000.

The bat is part of the second day of Hollywood Auction, which includes a lot of really interesting props, such as Nicholas Hammond's "Spider-Man" costume from the (mostly forgotten) 1970s TV series, an "Eagle" model from SPACE 1999, PLANET OF THE APES costumes and more. You can see the entire auction lot for Tuesday, June 27 HERE, of jump straight to the DARK SHADOWS bat HERE.

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