Thursday, December 8, 2011

ALERT!: Need three partners to bid on 'Wizard of Oz' Ruby Slippers and Cowardly Lion Costume

Debbie Reynolds (famed actress and These Amazing Shadows interview subject) is auctioning off her amazing Hollywood memorabilia collection on December 15, 16 and 17 as part of the "Icons of Hollywood" Auction at the Paley Center for Media Arts in Beverly Hills. I am seeking two or three partners to pool our money to bid on two items.


1) The first item I want to bid on is the Cowardly Lion's costume from The Wizard of Oz. The auction catalog says the following,"This costume was worn when the Cowardly Lion first meets Dorothy on the Yellow Brick Road and sings ‘If I only had the Nerve’ as well as when he later sings his trademark, ‘If I were King of the Forest’ in the Emerald City. This Cowardly Lion costume is very special because it was worn in some of the most magical moments of the film. It is one of only two known costumes worn by Bert Lahr in the production of The Wizard of Oz.”

The auction house, Profiles in History, has established a pre-sale estimate of value to be in the $2,000,000 to $3,000,000 range. I have $400 cash, so need some partners who can come up with the remaining $1,999,600 to $2,999,600. Caution - the amount could be higher if we get carried away during the bidding. 

The second item I want to bid on are the Ruby Slippers - also from The Wizard of Oz. The auction catalog says: there are four pairs of screen used Ruby Slippers known to have survived the seventy years since the making of The Wizard of Oz. One pair is the center piece of the Icons of American Culture exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.  Another pair was unfortunately stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and will likely never be recovered. The third pair is in private hands and will not be reaching the market any time soon.


The final fourth pair up for auction are marked on the inside lining, "#7 Judy Garland" and the leather soles are painted red on the bottom. The lack of felt, in addition to light, circular scuffs evident on the soles indicate their use in the extra-close-up or "insert" shots when Judy Garland taps her heels together at the film's climax. Author Rhys Thomas recently commented on this particular pair of slippers stating, "There's no question in my mind that they are the crème-de-la-crème of all ruby slippers."  Their condition is near mint.

The pre-sale estimate of value is $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. I have about $274.89 available for this item. My partners would need to come up with the remaining $1,999,726.11 to $2,999,726.11. 

(Also, I'll need some money for airfare and lodging)

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