Jack Nicholson’s infamous axe from The Shining has sold at an auction for the hefty price of $209,000. Adapted from Stephen King’s acclaimed novel, the 1980 horror film starring Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, and Danny Lloyd was directed by Stanley Kubrick.
Inspired by the purportedly true hauntings within Colorado’s Stanley Hotel, The Shining follows Jack Torrance (Nicholson), who's hired as an off-season caretaker of the ominous hotel. A recovering alcoholic and aspiring writer, Jack moves his wife Wendy (Duvall) and son Danny (Lloyd) into the isolated building with him. Possessing “the shining”, Danny totes psychic abilities, enabling him to see into the hotel’s gruesome past. Thrust into a winter storm with no means to vacate the hotel, Jack’s sanity begins to deteriorate, putting his wife and son in danger. Hailed as one of the most influential thrillers of all time, The Shining spawned nightmare-worthy quotes, characters, and visuals. One of the most iconic scenes features Nicholson’s character putting an axe to terrifying use. Fueled by insanity, Jack toting the wood-cutting tool made the film unforgettable.
Now, the titular prop has a new home. According to EW, The Shining’s axe was sold at an auction in London for 170,000 pounds - or roughly $209,000. The prop netted four times the original estimated value at the Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction. Comprised of a three-foot-long wooden handle and one-foot-long blade, the prop was among 900 items up for bid at the movie-themed auction.
Nicholson’s axe wasn't the only piece of Hollywood history that garnered sales. Film buffs with cash took home the Batsuit worn by Michael Keaton in Tim Burton’s Batman, the Roman armor worn by Russell Crowe in The Gladiator, and the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch featured in Monty Python And The Holy Grail. Additional props tempting bidders included James Bond’s pistol and silencer from GoldenEye, William Wallace’s sword from Braveheart, and Samuel L. Jackson’s lightsaber from Revenge of the Sith.
Scrambling to own a chunk of cinema history, devoted fans across the world have paid top dollar for props and costumes. To date, Marilyn Monroe’s white ivory cocktail dress from The Seven Year Itch holds the highest price tag of all time - raking in 4.6 million. The sale of Nicholson’s axe from The Shining - reportedly in excellent condition - sails in on the anticipation wave of The Shining’s sequel Doctor Sleep, slated to premiere next month. No doubt fans of the horror film are pondering if the axe’s new owner will state, “Here’s Johnny!” when using - hopefully not for a reenactment - the iconic prop from The Shining.
- Doctor Sleep (2019) release date: Nov 08, 2019