The Walther LP Model 53 4.5mm airgun that was pictured in the posters and promotional material of of Sean Connery’s second James Bond film, From Russia with Love, and also in promotional material for some of his subsequent Bond films, is going up for auction. It is expected to sell for $200,000 to $300,000.
The story of how the air pistol came to be used in the photo shoot is interesting …
This 4.5 mm. Walther air pistol, LP Model 53, serial number 054159, was first used by Sean Connery for the promotion of his second “James Bond” film,From Russia with Love. Publicist Tom Carlile arranged a series of poses with photographer David Hurn to shoot an iconic portrait of Connery as “James Bond 007” with his Walther pistol which was to be used as the primary image for the film’s poster art and advertising/marketing campaign. When Connery arrived at the photo studio, together with Tom Carlile and representatives from United Artists, it was discovered that no one had brought “007’s” Walther semi-automatic pistol. By chance, photographer Hurn practiced air pistol target shooting as a hobby and he used a Walther. It was decided between Carlile and Hurn, without telling Connery or the other representatives from United Artists, that they would use his air pistol for the photographs and if anyone were to bring it up that the Walther name on the gun would reassure them. In theory, the long barrel of the air pistol should have been removed by airbrushing during the design of the actual poster, but, for reasons unknown, it was never done.
As far as guns to pair with a tux go, this was probably a good choice. The long sleek barrel makes with gun look both elegant and sexy in my opinion. I had always assumed that it was some sort of long range dart gun, like the type the CIA once used, not a small caliber air pistol.