Judy Garland’s blue gingham dress in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz sold for USD 1.56 million at a New York auction on Monday.
One of 10 pinafores thought to have been made for Garland’s role as Dorothy in the movie, had been estimated to fetch between USD 800,000 and USD 1.2 million at its Hollywood memorabilia sale held in union with Turner Classic Movies by Bonhams auction house.
Described being in good condition but bearing sweat stains around the neck, the costume was supposedly one of only two similar pinafores that Garland actually wore on-screen for the classic musical. It was bought by an unidentified buyer in a telephonic bid.
The final price for the dress was USD 1,565,000 including MGM’s famous costume designer, Adrian’s commission. Officials were pleasantly surprised by the final price.
Bonhams’ director of entertainment memorabilia, Catherine Williamson reportedly said that the great pieces should bring in a lot of money.
Famous memorabilia prices have soared in recent years. Bert Lahr’s Cowardly Lion costume, including the sculpted likeness of Lahr’s face, was sold last year for almost $3.1 million at Bonhams.
The same “Oz” dress was last sold in 2012 at auction for $490,000, after first having been consigned and sold in 1981 by Kent Warner, an MGM costume designer who assisted with the landmark 1970 MGM studio auction.
The most expensive item of movie memorabilia clothing was Marilyn Monroe’s iconic 1955 movie The Seven Year Itch’s ivory pleated “Subway”, which soared to $5.6 million at a 2011 California auction, while Audrey Hepburn’s “My Fair Lady” Ascot dress was sold for $3.7 million.
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