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The yellow jumpsuit that Bruce Lee wore in his last film, The Game of Death, goes under the hammer in Hong Kong on Thursday, 40 years after the death of the martial arts legend.
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Besides bidding for what is probably the most distinctive outfit in kung fu movie history, fans can also vie for a matching set of nunchucks and a sign in Chinese from Lee’s Jeet Kun Do academy in Los Angeles. With 14 items in total, the auction is expected to raise between $129,000 to $193,000 (HK$1 million to HK$1.5 million).
Lee’s designed the bright-colored, one-piece costume, which has boss black stripes running down the sides. Uma Thurman wore a version of the suit for the Kill Bill movies.
Anna Lee, vice-chairwoman of the Spink auction house, and with no relation to Bruce, told the South China Morning Post that the jumpsuit is one of only two versions of the outfit ever worn by Lee.
“The jumpsuit is in its original condition and features fingerprints on the right upper-chest and left shoulder areas. The zip at the back also sustained damage,” she said. Because of the material’s inherently low quality, the suit has shrunk considerably, she said.
Other items up for auction include a medallion designed by Lee shortly before he died, which features a dragon in white gold facing another in yellow gold on top of a piece of jade.
Since July, over 226,000 people have visited a museum exhibition of Bruce Lee memorabilia, which opened in July and displays over 600 items — many on loan from the Bruce Lee Foundation run by his daughter, Shannon. The exhibition runs until 2018.
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Born in San Francisco, Lee is credited with turning martial arts into an international success in classic kung fu movies such as Enter the Dragon and Fists of Fury. He died from a brain hemorrhage in Hong Kong in 1973 at the age of 32. The Game of Death was released in 1978, five years after his death, using earlier fight footage.
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