Dragonslayer

Lot #218 - Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction - Stop-motion Vermithrax Pejorative Flying Dragon Miniature Puppet

Stock #125207

The consignor is accepting post-auction offers on this piece. The reserve price (including buyer's premium) on the lot was £37500; this offer should secure the piece but will still need the consignor's approval. In some cases, an offer below but near the reserve price may also be considered by consignors. Please use the 'Make An Offer' button to submit offers.

A stop-motion Vermithrax Pejorative flying dragon miniature puppet from Matthew Robbins' fantasy adventure Dragonslayer. The wizard Ulrich (Ralph Richardson) and his young apprentice Galen (Peter MacNicol) were tasked with slaying the 400-year-old dragon Vermithrax Pejorative, which terrorised the medieval kingdom of Urland.

This miniature was one of two flying dragons fabricated, and was created specifically for the flying scenes, which were shot against a blue screen, with the camera programmed to tilt in such a way as to create the sensation of flight. Sixteen dragon puppets were created in total, with each version being constructed for a specific function. Credited as a dragon supervisor on the ILM visual effects team, Phil Tippett finalised the colour design for the creature which is regarded as one of the greatest dragon designs of all time. Tippett encouraged the use of "go motion" on the picture, a method he developed with ILM while working on Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. This process allowed the puppet to move while the camera shutter remained open, eliminating the jerkiness commonly associated with stop-motion and adding elements of motion blur. The film received a Best Visual Effects nomination at the 54th Academy Awards®.

The dragon comprises an articulated aluminium skeleton which is sophisticated in its design so it could achieve a wide range of movements. The skeleton is covered in a foam-latex skin, with several detailed resin components, including a snarling head, claws and tail spade. Texture is added down the back to produce an aged appearance, and the skin is finished in dark shades of brown, red and green. The dragon also features bat-like wing mechanisms, a design feature chosen by Tippett.

Presented on a custom-made display, the dragon is carefully positioned, with its wings spread out to recreate the creature's bat-like shape. The lot displays signs of age, including cracking on the foam latex, which has exposed parts of the metal skeleton. A majority of the wings has crumbled away over time, with the four curved metal fingers remaining, and the body exhibits paint wear, notably on the tail. The lot remains in a fragile state and should be handled with care. Dimensions (displayed): 52 cm x 70 cm x 63.5 cm (20 1/2" x 27 1/2" x 25")

Special shipping required; see special shipping notice in the Buyer's Guide.

Item size - 25" x 27.56" x 20.47" (63.5cm x 70cm x 52cm)

Certificate of Authenticity This item comes with a Prop Store Certificate of Authenticity.

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