A model of an X-Wing starfighter used in the original Star Wars movie and which was found in a garage has sold at auction for more than $3m (£2.5m).
The 20-inch model had been missing for decades – but has become the most expensive Star Wars “screen-used prop” to be auctioned.
Dallas-based Heritage Auctions confirmed the sale of the model for a price of $3.135m (£2.58m) and said it was the “pinnacle” of Star Wars artefacts to reach the market.
The X-Wing was found in the collection of the Oscar-nominated model-maker Greg Jein, who died last year aged 76.
The model has a distinctive red stripe on the top wings and fans of the Star Wars franchise would recognise it as the “Red Leader” in the 1977 film, A New Hope.
It features in close-ups in parts of the space battle near the end of the film, including the trench run as the rebels attack the Death Star.
Built by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), the visual effects company founded by Star Wars creator George Lucas, the model was one of just four such miniatures, according to the auction house.
Visual effects historian Gene Kozicki told The Hollywood Reporter: “This model has not been displayed or modified since it left ILM.
“For those of us that grew up in the 70s or 80s, and those of us that work in visual effects, this model is as significant a find as the ruby red slippers or the Maltese Falcon.”
The model was discovered in a cardboard box in a garage when experts were helping Greg Jein’s family catalogue the late model-maker’s collection.
Other Star Wars props in the collection included a Stormtrooper costume from A New Hope.
This raised $645,000 (£530,728) when it was sold at Sunday’s auction.