Bruce Lee`s coat fetches USD 77,000 at HK auction

Hong Kong: A coat worn by Bruce Lee in his last film "Game of Death" sold for USD 77,000 at a rare auction of the late kung fu icon`s items in Hong Kong today, far above pre-sale estimates.

Thirteen items went under the hammer at the sale, believed to be the largest-scale auction of Lee memorabilia in the southern Chinese city, where the martial arts star was raised before moving to the United States in his late teens.

They smashed pre-sale estimates and raised a total of HKD 1.78 million (USD 227,000), including the dark-blue fur-lined coat which was made around 1973 for the film "Game of Death," which was released after Lee`s death.

The coat, the priciest item in the sale, was originally expected to fetch about HKD 70,000 but was sold to a US collector for HKD 600,000, almost nine times initial estimates.

A letter which Lee wrote 45 years ago to a friend in which the martial arts legend talked about the television series

"The Green Hornet," in which he played Kato, the kung fu-kicking valet of the masked crime fighter, was sold for HKD 400,000.

Other items that were sold including a membership card for his kung fu institute, a name card of Lee and an envelope addressed by Lee to a friend.

"I am very happy," said a jovial Albert Wong, deputy chairman of real estate firm Midland Holdings who spent HKD 265,000 to buy four items at the auction, including the membership card which was sold for HKD 200,000.

"I would like people to remember there was a very important person in search for excellence throughout his life," Wong said in reference to the kung fu hero, adding that his favourite Lee movie is "Game of Death."

The sale was jointly organised US-based Kelleher Auctions and Hong Kong`s Phila China.

The Hong Kong government said in June that it has shelved a plan to turn Lee`s old home in the city, which later became a rundown love hotel, into a museum, citing differences with the property owner.

Fans of the icon, who died in 1973 at the age of 32, have long called for a museum dedicated to Lee in the city.

His widow, now living in the US, had provided a rough copy of the home`s original layout to help restoration efforts and his daughter Shannon has previously said the museum would be "great for my father and his legacy".

Lee, credited with catapulting the martial arts film genre into the mainstream with films including "Fists of Fury" and the posthumously released "Enter the Dragon", died in Hong Kong after a severe reaction to medication.


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