I'm sure that many of you saw this item on ebay, few weeks ago (remember the huge price ^^).
At the beginning, I was very sceptical about its origins and really thought that it was a replica.
But regarding to the story told by the owner and the pics I received, I changed my opinion.
Some details speaks themselves!
First, here's the pics of this face mask (I asked the owner before to share these photos).
For the "short" story, this prop have been acquired from someone who works in the tv/film industry (I know, the usual story). Authenticated by Lucasfilm, it seems that this face mask will return to the Archives.
Now, a point about the details which makes this prop certainly real and not a replica:
The eyes: Same lens material, same white stuff behind the lenses, resin grids, just the grids, without the ring behind them (like the first trilogy style in brass).
Fixation system: We can clearly see the little hole over the to of this face mask, where was placed the antenna fixation ring (see the pic with Anthony Daniels). Plus the notch, typical of the prequel helmet.
The nose section looks a little bit curved and not as rectilinear as we can see on many replicas!!
But the most interesting things is the fact that some days after this auction was published, a member new here claimed to be a proud owner of an original C 3PO faceplate (unfortunately, he posted to much messages on the wrong section...which were supprimed).
I contacted him in order to obtain more informations (but I thought it was the same person who auctionned the face mask above).
Finally, it's not the same person and he sent me some pictures of his face mask...and it's not the same. Same details which lets me think that it's also an original prop from ROTS.
It's not a lie, I'm a real fan of C 3PO and to see appear two original face masks (and not the other parts) at the same time, was so much strange that I decided to create this thread.
I hope that the actual owner of the second mask (a member here) will be able to share some pics...or let me post them here.
I really thanks the first owner for letting me post these pics and for the informations!!!