Enter the bargain: Bruce Lee's shrunken yellow jumpsuit goes under the hammer

Tue Dec 3, 2013 1:24am EST
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By Venus Wu

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Late kung fu star Bruce Lee's iconic yellow jumpsuit and matching nunchucks that were immortalized in his final fight scenes will go under the hammer at an auction in Hong Kong on Thursday, 40 years after his death.

Fans will also get the chance to bid for 12 other personal items at the auction, which is expected to fetch a total of HK$1 million to HK$1.5 million (US$129,000 to US$193,000).

The jumpsuit, which features black stripes down the sides, is one of the two Lee wore in "The Game of Death", a movie released in 1978, five years after his death at 32, using earlier fight footage.

Lee designed the one-piece suit himself. The flexible, handmade costume was meant to reflect the malleable nature of his own hybrid martial art, Jeet Kune Do, which is not fixed to any traditional martial arts philosophy.

A total of four such jumpsuits are believed to exist, including two that were worn only by stuntmen.

Despite a broken zipper dangling at the back and some shrinkage over the years from the wash, the auction house Spink China expects it to fetch anything from HK$250,000 to HK$300,000 (US$32,000 to US$39,000) due to its rarity.

"I do believe this is the least worn (of the two jumpsuits) because of the condition - it's still pretty good," said Anna Lee, vice chairperson of Spink China.

She is not related to Bruce Lee.   Continued...

Anna Lee, vice chairman of Chinese auction house Spink, poses with nunchaku and a jumpsuit, both used by the late kungfu superstar Bruce Lee in his last movie "Game of Death", as part of the Bruce Lee 40th anniversary collection, at a news conference in Hong Kong December 2, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip