British auction house cancels sale of Star Wars memorabilia
Einto British auction house has canceled an auction of “Star Wars” memorabilia owned by “Chewbacca” actor Peter Mayhew after a dramatic appeal from his widow. Auction house Ryedale Auctioneers removed images of several of the actor’s memorabilia from its website on Friday after his wife Angie said: “It really breaks my heart to see our treasures being auctioned off in this way”.
The 2.21 meter tall British actor Peter Mayhew, who died in 2019, played the tall, furry “Star Wars” cult character Chewbacca in the original film and in the sequels up to 2015. Around 25 years ago he and his wife sold their house in Keighley in northern England. They also left early Star Wars memorabilia in the attic, including notes, scripts and call logs from the production of the original film and the fifth episode of the Star Wars saga, The Empire Strikes Back, as well as autographed photographs and a scrapbook.
The home’s next owners eventually found the voluminous material and turned it over to the local auction house – who, recognizing the value of the find, enthusiastically accepted the pieces and announced an auction on their website. The auction house estimated around 150 pounds (around 170 euros) per souvenir.
In response, Mayhew’s widow wrote on the Peter Mayhew Foundation’s Twitter account that she and her late husband deeply regretted having to leave behind all these memories. At the time, however, her husband was no longer able “to go to the attic to fetch her” due to illness.
Mayhew’s charity later said it had spoken to auctioneer Angus Ashworth over the phone that it wanted the items “returned to the Mayhew family.” Ashworth said the vendors would donate the items to the foundation “so fans always have access to them.”