A FOUR poster bed once owned by the man dubbed as “the real James Bond” is up for sale.
But don’t spend too much time looking for notches on the bedpost – it was bought to help Sir Fitzroy Maclean deal with a bad back.
The Scottish soldier’s daring exploits in the Second World War are said to have inspired Ian Fleming to create 007.
The former Eton student parachuted behind enemy lines as an envoy for Churchill, dodged Russian secret service agents in the Soviet Union and even became a founding member of the SAS.
But despite sharing several similarities with Bond, the real SAS founder simply wanted to lay his head on a comfortable bed at night.
The Edwardian mahogany bed which Sir Fitzroy slept on for 40 years was reportedly bought to alleviate back pain which he suffered as a result of his parachuting – and is up for sale in Edinburgh on Thursday.
The real-life agent died in 1996, but his family have decided to put his bed up for sale 16 years later.
The four poster bed could sell of at least £1000 when it goes under the hammer at Bonhams auction house on February 16, but the bed could fetch a much higher price if spotted by a die-hard Bond fan.
Bonhams’ head of furniture, Bruce Addison, said: “The bed came from his stepson. It was originally in Strachur in Argyll, the family seat.
“It’s a very elegant bed and we haven’t factored in the provenance when we priced it at £1000 to £1500, but I think the link is going to be very helpful.
“He’s a remarkable man by any account and I think that is going to make the estimate rather conservative.
The furniture expert said that the real-life agent and the author of James Bond knew each other quite well and so it is very possible that the two are linked.
“I gather Ian Fleming was in the naval intelligence in the Second World War and was an acquaintance of Sir Fitzroy, and Ian Fleming’s brother Peter was also a friend of Fitzroy McClean, so they moved in the same social circles.
“Sir Fitzroy was the real-life incarnation of Bond.”
The links between the Scottish soldier have already boosted auction sales in the past.
In 2008, a collection of first-edition Bond novels from Maclean’s own library sold for £26,000 in an Edinburgh auction.
Book specialist Henry Baggott added: “I spent a number of years selling Ian Fleming first editions. I didn’t know much about Sir Fitzroy until this came around but there are a number of people that it’s thought might have been the inspiration for James Bond.
“To have something which is connected to him in a different way and it totally unique is very exciting.”