Film producer and prop collector on Disney Plus’ “Prop Culture,” Dan Lanigan was the previous owner of the gun.
Having been a fan of “Dr. No,” Lanigan was drawn to the prop. “I picked this amazing piece 15 years ago when I was relatively early in my collecting,” he tells Variety. The pistol comes from the original prop armory supplier Bapty in the U.K. The company sold the weapon at an auction in 2006, and Langigan acquired it there.
The Walther PP handgun was first used by Connery when he made his acting debut as James Bond, 007, in the very first Bond film “Dr. No.”
In “Dr. No,” the pistol is identified as a PPK, but it’s a PP in real life. “I tried to get to the bottom of that, but couldn’t get a real answer,” Lanigan says. “Most people wouldn’t know the difference.” The pistol, he points out, is no longer an active firearm.
Why had Lanigan chosen to sell the pistol now after having it for so long? He says, “My collecting has changed and so have my interests [over the years]. It needs to find another home and be with someone who gives it the love it deserves.”
Lanigan says his first and favorite James Bond was Roger Moore, and it was only as he got into his teen years that he opened up to the idea of Connery and “connected with him.” “This is the tool that he uses to define who he is as a secret agent, and that was interesting and iconic,” Lanigan says.
The collector spent over a year contemplating whether to let go of the historic prop. Two weeks before Connery passed away on Oct. 31, Lanigan had signed the contract with Julien Auctions in Beverly Hills to auction it. “I don’t want to profit off his death and I got nervous about it, but the auction house said this stuff happens all the time. I felt weird about it and considered pulling it at one point.” He admits, Connery’s passing made him want to keep the piece, and the pistol had become even more important to him.
In a statement released by Julien’s Auction, the winning bidder chose to remain anonymous, adding the new owner “was an American who has seen every James Bond movie with their children.”