Comedy genius Ray Galton's "Steptoe and Son" typewriter heads to auction

The typewriter that comedy genius Ray Galton OBE used to write the scripts for the TV show Steptoe & Son is to be auctioned by Hansons Auctions on October 29th as part of the Ray Galton Collection.

The Ray Galton collection comprises the contents of Ray's incredible home at Ivy House, a mansion house that originally formed part of Henry VIII's Hampton Court Palace complex. 

Mr Galton was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2020 for services to British comedy.

Chris Kirkham of Hansons told us:

“To walk into a room and see his BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts, not for sale) awards decorating a Bechstein grand piano, or to pick up a bottle of whisky to read a personal message from Leonard Cohen, was special for me. And the moment I saw Ray’s typewriter I immediately pictured him hammering away at the keys, bringing a comedy moment to life."

Ray used the typewriter to write the scripts for the award winning Steptoe and Son TV show.

In today's terms 'Steptoe and Son' would be referred to as 'of it's time', a show about a father-and-son rag and bone business, that ran from 1962 - 1974.

The show remains popular with fans and critics, and was ranked 44th by the British Film Institute for the 100 Greatest British television programmes.

Hansons have given the typewriter an estimate of just £100, which is remarkably low for a piece of comedy memorabilia steeped in history.

Typewriters are incredibly collectible, and Hollywood legend Tom Hanks is amongst the world's biggest collectors.

Hanks' collection comprises over 250 famous typewriters and he previously explained his passion:

“What thrills me about typewriters, is that they are meant to do one thing and one thing only and with the tiniest amount of effort, maintenance, it will last a thousand years.”

Typewriters of note include the gold-plated Royal Quiet Deluxe typewriter that Ian Fleming used to write his James Bond book Casino Royal that sold at auction for £56,250.

Whilst the typewriter used by Ernest Hemingway to write The Dangerous Summer and A Moveable Feast sold for $65,000 in July 2013. 

The most expensive typewriter to ever sell at auction is that of Pulitzer prize winning American author Cormac McCarthy, which he had bought for $50 in 1958. It sold at auction for $254,500 in December 2009.

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