Judy Garland’s Long-Lost Wizard of Oz Dress Set for Auction

Posted 2022/04/25 10 0


Anyone who’s wanted to own Dorothy Gale’s iconic blue and white gingham dress, initially worn by Judy Garland in the classic 1939 Wizard of Oz movie, now has a chance to be able to. From April 23 to 29, the address will be available for viewings at Bonhams New York. Afterward, it will be moved to Los Angeles to be auctioned off.

Bonhams has described the dress as follows: “a blue-and-white gingham pinafore dress with a fitted bodice and a full skirt, with ‘handkerchief pocket,’ two mother-of-pearl buttons to the front and two to the reverse, with a hook-and-eye closure at the back, with fabric label inside inscribed ‘JUDY GARLAND 4223,’ with a short-sleeved blouse of cream organdy with a high neck, trimmed at the neck and cuffs with pale blue rickrack trim, the blouse with hook-and-eye closure to the neck and snap closure to the body.”

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The dress in question can be seen during the scene where the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) threatens Dorothy inside the Witch’s Castle. The costume set is one of only two existing dresses worn by Garland during filming that can still be found paired with a matching white blouse. It is also only one of four blue and white dresses still known to exist, according to Bonhams. It is expected to sell for anywhere between $800,000 and $1,200,000.

For the sake of comparison, another of Dorothy’s dresses that Garland wore was put on auction in 2015 and sold for $1.56 million. Last month the Tin Man’s oil can sold for $250,000 at auction. A rare violin that was used to record “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from the movie’s iconic soundtrack is expected to earn as much as $20 million at auction during the summer.

Where oh where has the little dress gone?

Back in 1973, actress Mercedes McCambridge gave the dress to Reverend Gilbert Hartke, former drama head of The Catholic University of America (CUA). McCambridge worked as an artist in residence at the university, with Hartke helping her with the actresses’ drinking problem. According to Bonhams, it’s still unclear how McCambridge came to own the dress. Still, it has been suggested by the people who knew the actress that she acquired it directly from the MGM costume archives during a clear-out of their inventory. The dress went missing during the 1980s and has only recently been found.

Retired drama lecturer Matt Ripa had searched nearly everywhere for it. Then one day, Ripa was cleaning in preparation for renovations to be done at Hartke Theater. He found the dress neatly tucked inside a box on top of the faculty mailboxes. The box contained a short message by retired drama professor Thomas Donahue, saying, “I found this in my office.”

CUA in Washington D.C. is the one selling the dress. Proceeds from the sale will go toward the school’s drama department. If you want to participate in the auction, you can check out the auction house at Bonhams.com. The information found in this article came courtesy of Collider and Forbes.

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