Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee 'Game of Death' jumpsuit up for auction

But some fans say, like the costume, enthusiasm for the star's possessions is wearing thin

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 December, 2013, 6:28pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 December, 2013, 10:02am

Bruce Lee fans will have another chance to get their hands on the martial arts legend's property at a Hong Kong auction later this week - but aficionados hinted that their appetite for all things Bruce may be wearing thin.

Spink China expects the 14 items offered by an anonymous seller who works in the Hollywood film industry to fetch HK$1 million in Thursday's sale.

The lots include the iconic yellow-and-black jumpsuit Lee wore in Game of Death, the film he was making when he died 40 years ago, as well as nunchaku and a set of four signs in Chinese from Lee's Jeet Kun Do academy in Los Angeles.

Anna Lee, vice-chairwoman of the auction house, says the jumpsuit is thought to be one of only two versions of the outfit ever worn by Lee.

"The jumpsuit is in its original condition and features fingerprints on the right upper-chest and left shoulder areas. The zip at the back also sustained damage," she said. "The material used at that time was terribly poor. [It] has drastically shrunk," and would only fit a person who was1.65 metres tall. Lee was 1.71 metres tall.

The items come with certificates of authenticity from former owners, including Lee's student Taky Kimura, Bruce's brother Robert and his friend George Lee.

Lee's hometown has long had a strong appetite for the star's possessions. A sale of 13 Lee-related items in August 2011 brought in HK$1.78 million.

But some fans are doubtful about the latest auction.

Wong Yiu-keung, chairman of the Bruce Lee Club, expressed reservations over some items.

"The items are not particularly attractive to me," he said.

Betty Chan, spokeswoman for the Bruce Lee Memorial Community Alliance, which hopes to build a permanent museum for Lee, said: "Bruce left thousands of belongings behind, it's not necessary to have all of them.

"We work to retain Bruce's spirit, not to chase after all of his items."

The public and potential buyers can see the items for themselves today and tomorrow at the auctioneer's offices in Wan Chai.

Fans have flocked to an exhibition of Lee memorabilia at the Heritage Museum in Sha Tin. Since it opened in July, some 226,000 visitors have visited, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department said. The exhibition runs until 2018.

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