February 27, 2024


masterpiece of human

Thought Lost, Judy Garland’s Iconic “Wizard of Oz” Dress Heads to Auction


A “Dorothy Costume,” one of only two full variations of the costume, up for auction at Bonhams (image courtesy Bonhams)

Memorabilia from the beloved book series-turned-iconic movie The Wizard of Oz has serious cachet — initial editions have fetched tens of countless numbers of dollars and a pair of ruby slippers is valued amongst $2 and $3 million, according to some estimates. As covered by the 2021 podcast series There’s No Spot Like Dwelling, some Wizard of Oz fans will go to any lengths to get a piece of the basic Hollywood movie in their collection — even going so significantly as to steal them.

These kinds of nefariousness will not be necessary for committed Oz-heads with their eyes on just one distinct forthcoming lot at Bonhams in Los Angeles. Between other items, the auction house’s Traditional Hollywood Film & Tv sale on Might 24 will involve an reliable “Dorothy Dress” — the signature blue gingham pinafore dress and puffy-sleeved shirt worn by Judy Garland in her star-making turn as protagonist Dorothy Gale in the 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film.

The gown is a single of only four known to continue to be in existence, and one of only two full variations together with the product organdy large-necked blouse. According to the auction website, this distinct edition of the costume was worn by Garland in the course of the climactic scenes set in the Witch’s Castle, featuring Margaret Hamilton’s famous performance as the Wicked Witch of the West, which includes her spectacular death-by-melting. The dress consists of a material label inscribed “JUDY GARLAND 4223,” which enabled handlers to recognize the scenes in which it seems.

“This gown has an outstanding record and Bonhams is honored to be a portion of its journey,” Helen Corridor, director of the Well-known Culture section at Bonhams, claimed in a push statement. “Important costumes from this legendary movie almost never appear on the auction market place and to be capable to pinpoint the scene in which this was worn by Judy Garland is thrilling.”

A element of the costume up for auction, which enabled scientists to pinpoint the correct scenes in which it seems (impression courtesy Bonhams)

The dress comes to auction by way of the Catholic University of The us in Washington, DC. The school obtained the costume as a present to the plainly beloved former head of its drama office, Reverend Gilbert Hartke, from Mercedes McCambridge, a Hollywood actor and artist-in-home at the College in 1973. The costume experienced apparently been missing since the 1980s but was rediscovered in an previous shoebox last year, and will now head to the auction block in buy to benefit the university’s drama division.

Archival image of Reverend Gilbert Hartke keeping the costume (photo courtesy Catholic University of America)
Archival push image of Reverend Gilbert Hartke and actor Mercedes McCambridge (photo courtesy Catholic University of The us)
An legendary piece of film background (image courtesy Bonhams)

“Discovering this historic dress was a memorable second for the Catholic College of The united states and we are proud to current it for auction, so that the subsequent collector can individual a piece of historical past,” said Jacqueline J. Leary-Warsaw, dean of the Benjamin T. Rome College of Audio, Drama, and Artwork, in a statement from Bonhams. 

“While parting with this costume is bittersweet, the proceeds are going to support assistance upcoming generations schooling for specialist occupations in theatre,” Leary-Warsaw continued. “It may just be that the funding will help to get ready the next Mercedes McCambridge or Judy Garland!”

People intrigued in observing the gown can uncover it on look at at Bonhams New York (580 Madison Avenue in Manhattan) from April 23 to 29 and at Bonhams Los Angeles (7601 Sunset Boulevard) from May well 20 to 24. But the lucky consumer setting up to consider the dress household on May perhaps 24 is going to have to do more than click their heels. The dress is envisioned to fetch between $800,000 and $1,200,000 (yet another version of the gown with the blouse was marketed by Bonhams in 2015 for a record selling price previously mentioned $1.5 million.) Any person hoping to get in excess of the rainbow improved commence hunting for a pot of gold!


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