King Kong's tiny metal skeleton sells for $218K

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

A 22-inch skeleton used in the climactic scene of the 1933 movie King Kong in which the giant ape climbs the Empire State Building has sold for about $218,000 at a London auction, Reuters reported. The figurine was sold as part of the Christie's popular culture sale Tuesday.

The armature, complete with aluminium skull molded from a wooden carving, was once covered with cotton, rubber, liquid latex and rabbit fur, but that has since rotted away. It is believed to be the only model of its kind.

The model survived thanks to film fan Eugene Hilchey, who set out to gather as many King Kong artifacts as he could from 1949 onward. He got hold of the auctioned model in 1967 when the miniature department where it was being kept was closed for demolition.

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