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Buy Marilyn's dress from The Seven Year Itch!* (*subway grate not included)
June 4, 2011 9:11 PM   Subscribe

The Girl With the Golden Wardrobe. Long after the Golden Age of Hollywood has dimmed, and its legendary stars taken a bow, history's most iconic film costumes are returning to the spotlight as actress Debbie Reynolds sells her showcase collection.

The Catalogue (PDF)
posted by crossoverman (88 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is the same memorabilia that was on display at her namesake casino?
posted by Yakuman at 9:21 PM on June 4, 2011


My God what a collection.
posted by longsleeves at 9:30 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


She is going to make herself a FORTUNE.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:34 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


If anyone has a spare few thousand, i would like the Queen Xtina costumes
posted by PinkMoose at 9:41 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll be very curious to hear how much she makes on everything once the auction is over. She has some truly amazing pieces that I imagine collectors will be falling all over themselves to acquire.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:42 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yakuman, it is the same memorabilia from her hotel/casino which she has tried building a museum for, but she's never been able to raise the funds. I'm sad this stuff is going into private hands (possibly never to be seen again) but that makes it more likely it will survive, at least.
posted by crossoverman at 9:45 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've seen her collection and it's amazing. It's also shameful that Hollywood, Los Angeles, and the rest of show biz couldn't manage to acquire this collection and get it into a proper museum. She's been buying stuff for years.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:55 PM on June 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


God I hope that whoever buys the Victoria and Albert museum pieces doesn't remove them from public display.

I read through the catalogue twice, and it looks like the most expensive piece is Marilyn Monroe's white halterneck, at $1-2m. Was there a more valuable piece that I missed?
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 10:13 PM on June 4, 2011


It's also shameful that Hollywood, Los Angeles, and the rest of show biz couldn't manage to acquire this collection and get it into a proper museum.

This is so weirdly, classically L.A.. It seems like the vast majority of people who've been made so rich and powerful by the film industry practically take a perverse pride in not taking care of their own industry's history. It drives me nuts.

Thanks for posting this - I'm absolutely going to have to go attend one of the public showings.
posted by scody at 10:14 PM on June 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's because Hollywood trades on the future and youth -- looking forward, not backwards. Hollywood exists only in the ever fleeting present.
posted by wuwei at 10:18 PM on June 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh ... My ... God .........

I downloaded the catalogue and have just started looking at it.

Over 300 pages. A treasure trove beyond imagining.

Stunning costumes worn by Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford in the Taming of the Shrew from 1929. Hollywood's first superstar couple.

Wow!
posted by marsha56 at 10:36 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can also browse the collection here in non-PDF format.
posted by Usher at 10:52 PM on June 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm only up to page 110. It's incredible. Page after page. I'm so tempted to list them all here. But I don't want to spoil it for anyone else. If you care at all about the classic films and actors of Hollywood's early years, you just have to look thru the catalog for yourself. I'm gasping on almost every single page. Oh my god, here's that _____ worn by ____ in ____ !!!!

In my many years on MeFi, I don't think I've every come close to being this blown away by a single post.
posted by marsha56 at 11:08 PM on June 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Wow, indeed. I only know about 40 people who need this pdf, if not a paddle number, stat!
posted by Anitanola at 11:14 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I went to the web site first, and my comment was "Holy *($@ing (%#@!". I hadn't even seen the catalogue! Astonishing pieces.

That the United States cannot find it to build a museum to house this collection makes me sad. I thought Hollywood epitomized the American dream.

What a shame I shan't get to see these in the flesh!


There has to be a back story here. Why is she selling them now while she's alive? There's still money there, surely...? Why isn't Carrie Fisher taking this collection over? What are Ms. Reynold's thoughts? If I had this collection, I'd never let it go in pieces as long as I was alive...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:16 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


OK, now I've looked at the catalogue, I'm trying to think of an iconic costume piece from cinema before 1950 that is not in this collection.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:18 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


What an absolute treasure. Amazing that no one in Hollywood could step up to house such an incredible collection. Is it too late to hope this publicity will help find some investors?
posted by Space Kitty at 11:26 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The worst is that I've been on a first name basis with at least two billionaires, and I'm pretty sure neither of them would really care about this...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:27 PM on June 4, 2011


I swear if I had a few hundred dollars sitting around, I would buy the shit out of that Grease 2 bowling shirt and then spend the rest of my days alienating friends by wearing it and singing Reproduction whenever I got the chance.
posted by Copronymus at 11:50 PM on June 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


I could actually afford a few of these. But would I be correct to assume that the actual sale prices will be many times the estimate?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:53 PM on June 4, 2011


That Claudette Colbert Cleopatra gown just about made me weep.
posted by Neofelis at 12:09 AM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


It really is a terrible loss that this amazing collection will be broken up. Surely, the top dozen or so of the wealthiest entertainment moguls could put up the funds to purchase this collection and to build a museum to house and display it. This is our cultural heritage. What a shame!

But at least bless Debbie Reynolds for rescuing and preserving these treasures for such a long time. I've always heard that she went through some difficult years financially.

Some background info in her wikipedia page.

Also some info about the failed attempts to keep the collection together:

Reynolds has amassed a large collection of movie memorabilia, beginning with the landmark 1970 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer auction, and displayed them, first in a museum at her Las Vegas hotel and casino during the 1990s and later in a museum close to the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. On several occasions, she has auctioned off items from the collection.

The museum was to relocate to be the centerpiece of the Belle Island Village tourist attraction in the resort city of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, but the developer went bankrupt.[7][8] The museum itself filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy[9] in June 2009.[7]

Todd Fisher, Reynolds' son, announced that his mother was "heartbroken" to have to auction off her collection.[7] It was valued at $10.79 million in the bankruptcy filing.[8] The Vancouver Sun reported that Profiles in History has been given the responsibility of conducting a series of auctions beginning in June and continuing into December 2011.[10] Among the "more than 3500 costumes, 20,000 photographs, and thousands of movie posters, costume sketches, and props" to be sold are Charlie Chaplin's bowler hat and Marilyn Monroe's white "subway dress", whose skirt is lifted up by the breeze from a passing subway train in the film The Seven Year Itch.[10] The latter is expected to fetch between one and two million dollars.

posted by marsha56 at 12:19 AM on June 5, 2011


Oh my God. I've been to some swank-ass auctions in my life, but never have I wanted a catalogue as much as I want this one. * whine *
posted by DarlingBri at 4:49 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to think of an iconic costume piece from cinema before 1950 that is not in this collection.

Scarlet's green curtain dress from Gone with the Wind is iconic as it gets, and it's at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas-Austin. They've got some other costume collections as well, most notably DeNiro's, so I wonder if they'll be bidding on anything.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:54 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone incredibly rich should buy the whole collection and put it up for other people to see. Send it on a touring show all over the world and make all your money back. This is an incredible collection. Thank you, Debbie, for having saved these things.
posted by h00py at 6:10 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I swear if I had a few hundred dollars sitting around, I would buy the shit out of that Grease 2 bowling shirt and then spend the rest of my days alienating friends by wearing it and singing Reproduction whenever I got the chance.

One of the worst songs ever written but my god it gets stuck in my head whenever it's mentioned.
posted by h00py at 6:49 AM on June 5, 2011


One of the worst songs ever written but my god it gets stuck in my head whenever it's mentioned.

To which anyone who knows the song (and is willing to admit to it) can only reply, "Reproduction (reproduction!). Is that all you think aaa-bout?"

I can't believe Debbie Reynolds is having to sell this. Her collection has been a Hollywood mainstay, in my mind. I really, really hope it's bought up whole and displayed somewhere, rather than being split and going into separate, private vaults.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 6:56 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I can't believe Debbie Reynolds is having to sell this

Maybe she sat down with her kids and had a discussion about the future. Maybe they decided they didn't want to deal with this collection. It sounds like it has already been a huge headache. If my mom had a vast collection of something I didn't want to have to handle, I would probably help her to dispose of it.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:09 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia would be the perfect place for this collection to be presented. There must be so many other places around the world that would love to show these pieces. I so, so hope someone will keep it all together.

As to the lyrics of that terrible song, I think 'We was only poking fun' says it all. I paid money to see that movie. That goddamn terrible movie that will stay in my memory until the day that I die. Damn you, Grease 2!
posted by h00py at 7:12 AM on June 5, 2011


Where does the pollen go?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:15 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


> If my mom had a vast collection of something I didn't want to have to handle, I would probably help her to dispose of it.

(and that Wikipedia page).

Yes, it's all clearer to me, and probably a good idea come to think of it. Imagine someone left me that collection - suddenly I'd become a full-time costume collection curator - a great job for some people but I wouldn't like it.

Good for her, not leaving a white elephant to her kids.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:21 AM on June 5, 2011


I hope at least a few pieces find their way to the Smithsonian. I only looked at about half of the catalog, but I, too, kept having those jaw-dropping moments.
posted by briank at 7:24 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Incredible. Mostly makes me realize how many great old movies I haven't seen yet.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:36 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I only had the cash for Nova's costume, ms. monster and I could play "Planet of the Apes" RAWR!
posted by hot_monster at 8:09 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Many of the values listed are of course much lower than I would expect these things to actually auction for. This is probably to make the bankruptcy proceedings smoother and to entice interest. I imagine the Marilyn, Wizard of Oz, and Sound of Music items will go for 10-20 times the listed values. I wouldn't expect any of the non-paper items to sell for less than $1000. It would be nice if they could get a documentary crew to film the collection and gather stories from related people who are still alive like they did with the Star Trek auction.
posted by Locobot at 8:31 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, this is amazing. I work near the Paley Center, and it shouldn't be too hard to convince a couple of co-workers to check this out.
posted by mogget at 8:39 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Monroe's white dress and Chaplin's bowler hat. Fuck.
posted by Skygazer at 8:45 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't get over the vibrant colors. I'm just so used to thinking about a lot of these from the black and white periods as...well...black and white. And the intricate details. Wow.
posted by double bubble at 9:12 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can hardly imagine Carrie Fisher having the love and respect for Hollywood to keep this going. It's her mother that loves this stuff, not her.
posted by maryr at 9:26 AM on June 5, 2011


I get the impression that she's sunk a lot of money, and probably amassed a decent amount of debt, trying to get a stand alone museum set up for the collection and now she is forced into selling the whole thing to stave off severe financial issues. There was probably a point in time when the whole thing could have been donated to an established museum (assuming they could find one willing and able to take such a large collection) but it sounds like it's gone too far for that. Sucks to see a dream collapse.
posted by double bubble at 10:13 AM on June 5, 2011


I imagine the Marilyn, Wizard of Oz, and Sound of Music items will go for 10-20 times the listed values. I wouldn't expect any of the non-paper items to sell for less than $1000.

I hope that's the case - a lot of the furniture is priced competitively with normal new items. A couch for $1000 that is really cool, antique, and was in a famous film?
posted by Meatbomb at 10:15 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Costumes (and all textiles, really) storage and preservation suck up a lot of money--these pieces haven't been kept in air conditioned vaults, although they have been away from light and heat. Carrie Fisher could no more maintain this collection herself than she could fly to the moon--she lives in Edith Head's old house, so I don't think history of Hollywood wow! is unknown to her.

And costumes aren't clothing--that's why MoMa and the Smithsonian haven't leapt into action, because neither place has a particular focus on film. Costumes are also heavy, sometimes smell bad (and sweat just never goes away) and need special rigging to display properly.

Audrey Hepburn's Ascot hat is my personal favorite.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:20 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know how many of you checked out usher's link. It's for the auction site. Looks like it's really easy to make a bid on the items that are up for auction this time. I think there are maybe two or three auctions to go before the end of the year. Most of the items don't have any bids yet. I would assume that on the final day (June 11th ) the large bids will come rolling in. Still it would be neat just to have made a bid on some of this stuff. It's incredible how low the opening amounts are for most of these things.

Visually you should still check out the catalog. The pictures there are much better IMO. I just wanted to point out usher's link for anyone who would want to make a bid.

Hey, if anybody here ends up with anything, could you let us know? Even if I can't afford to buy anything, it would be neat to hear of fellow MeFites who are the new owners of some of this memorabilia. Just a thought.
posted by marsha56 at 10:20 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


GAH! Page 268: Maria's guitar from The Sound of Music.

The hills are alive with the sound of me searching my couch for $20,000 – $30,000 in spare change.
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:36 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I would like to insert here, that I have a birthday coming up and if some wealthy Mefite would be kind enough to let me rub my face in a dress Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn or Claudette Colbert or Ingrid Bergman or Grace Kelly (I'm easy on this, I guess), once wore, it would make for a pretty cool birthday gift. Kthxbye.
posted by Skygazer at 10:38 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Around pages 140-148 in the catalog are costumes from "Singin' In the Rain".
I just found out that few costume dramas from the catalog are available on DVDs. "Forever Amber", "The Swan"... Sigh.
posted by of strange foe at 10:59 AM on June 5, 2011


Costumes are also heavy, sometimes smell bad (and sweat just never goes away)

Well I'm sure that more than one bidder will be counting on this. Skygazer?
posted by Locobot at 11:03 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


In spite of my last post, I'm actually a little torn on this. On the one hand, I think it would be so cool for some of us here to purchase some of these things. On the other hand, I really hope they go to people (hopefully public museums) that have the means to properly care for and preserve them for future generations.
posted by marsha56 at 11:23 AM on June 5, 2011


We're friends of Debbie's. I used to romp with her.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:38 AM on June 5, 2011


Costumes are also heavy, sometimes smell bad (and sweat just never goes away)

Well I'm sure that more than one bidder will be counting on this. Skygazer?



A little...why yes, it's true.


But then again, there are limitations and if the dress smelled really truly bad, I would just hold my nose and dry hump it.

Gently.

(Instead of rubbing my face in it.)



Maybe after dinner and a movie?

posted by Skygazer at 12:17 PM on June 5, 2011


It's her mother that loves this stuff, not her.

What makes you say that? From the commentaries and appearances that Carrie Fisher does every once in a while on TCM, I'd say she has a great deal of respect for Hollywood history -- albeit ambivalent and filtered through all necessary cynicism and bitterness. Which is the proper approach, I think. But I doubt that she could afford all this stuff even if she wanted to. As my other half says, all of this amazing stuff belongs in a museum -- like the Smithsonian, if it had the wherewithal to acquire and house it -- not in someone's private collection where nobody will ever see it.
posted by blucevalo at 12:39 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


So this is the stuff Debbie Reynolds wants to sell. Imagine what she's holding back?
posted by Skygazer at 1:21 PM on June 5, 2011


Wow.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:23 PM on June 5, 2011


The non-clothing stuff is amazing too --
W. C. Fields' box of jokes and wordplay, 120 slips of paper?
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:29 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ok, so here's what I'm thinking. We pool our money and bid on (and win) about half the catalog. Everyone gets one or more things that they want.

Then The Whelk and I will write a screenplay. I'm thinking something along the lines of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" as though it were written by an especially naughty Roger Waters. Maybe instead of having us chase down a few hundred thousand dollars in stolen money, we're chasing down a stolen risque video - which in a nice Mobius strip of a twist happens to be the video we're actually shooting.

So, we throw an awesome costume party and film it, and film it well. We'll rent (or buy) a RED camera system and support it with video-capable DSLRs. If we do this right we'll double or triple our money, end up with a lot of fabulous costumes and have a lot of fun all at the same time.

Therapy, counseling or medical treatment to deal with the psychiatric aftermath and/or STDs acquired during participation is left to the individual.
posted by loquacious at 2:12 PM on June 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


So I cancelled my afternoon plans and zoomed over to the Paley Center to check the collection out in person. It is AMAZING. If you live in Los Angeles, you owe it to yourself to go.

Dibs on the silver beaded sailor uniform from Broadway Melody of 1940.
posted by roger ackroyd at 2:18 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I get the impression that she's sunk a lot of money, and probably amassed a decent amount of debt, trying to get a stand alone museum set up for the collection and now she is forced into selling the whole thing to stave off severe financial issues.

Yeah, that's the impression I got, too, reading the article about the auction more closely. Too bad. Hopefully the auction ends up being a windfall for her and solves any financial issues she built up caring for the collection.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:42 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why wasn't the Smithsonian in any of this? It is just astounding that this amount of American heritage is going to go into private hands, most likely never to be seen again. Can't we cut a couple of Tomahawk missile budgets and build a Smithsonian West?
posted by pashdown at 4:10 PM on June 5, 2011


If I were Debbie Reynolds, I think I'd wear the Marilyn dress, the Chaplin bowler, and the glass slippers all at the same time, at least once - just to see if anything happened.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:16 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


CHARLIE CHAPLIN'S HAT!? Holy fucking shit!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:23 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised the Scientologists haven't snapped it up. They'd instantly associate themselves even more closely with celebrity and garner quite a bit of good will.
posted by longdaysjourney at 5:42 PM on June 5, 2011


This is a seriously insane collection. I just spent the last 30 minutes pouring over the PDF and must have said variations of "Jesus Christ!" and "Holy fucking shit!" several dozen times.

I love the story behind the '52 MG:
This car was acquired by Debbie Reynolds directly from Twentieth Century-Fox during the “pre-sale” when she bought all of the Marilyn Monroe wardrobe from the studio prior to the auction in 1971.  It was bought in running condition and was placed in storage until Debbie’s daughter, Carrie Fisher, took a shining to it when she started to drive (ca. 1974).  Unfortunately, Carrie never really mastered the manual transmission and Debbie took the keys away to avert impending disaster, and the car was placed back in storage where it has remained ever since.  In 2011 the engine and transmission were rebuilt and the car has been rejuvenated with new chrome and remains in nice running condition.  The car has its original paint which exhibits light scratches in areas.  The dent in the radiator occurred when Cary Grant crashed into the fence in the film, and was kept in its original condition.
And also the letter from the studio pleading with W.C. Fields to take the role of the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz:
"Bill, I am really sorry you are not doing WIZARD OF OZ. I can’t get the powers that be go for the ACE, the ¾ is the limit. I can see your point and unfortunately, I can see theirs. It’s a short job, about two weeks actual work and done at anytime that will suit the convenience of your Valley commitment. On an actual basis of more than $30,000 a week, it isn’t tin, and won’t hurt your prestige. With the world acclaim that this opus is going to get, and with the set up it’s going to have financially and exploitation, honestly Bill you need it. It’s a swell set up for you and will do you more good than forty of those percentage turkeys with headaches at the Valley. If that lays an egg, only you are blamed. The Wiz lays an egg and MGM gets it. Don’t, don’t for xs sake pass it up for the dough. Figure it as $30,000 and over per week actual work. One can’t get hung for that. There are too many good properties coming up for you over here. I’d like to see you here on a deal, but, that LB is funny guy. Sure, I’m on their side, but, I have a big leaning toward you. I don’t want to see you penny wise and pound foolish."

Fields was the original choice for the title role in The Wizard of Oz, but was rumored to be too small a role combined with his asking for $100,000 (“the ACE”), while MGM offered $75,000 (“the ¾ is the limit.”)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:06 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm on my phone, but when I get back home, I'm going to see if there is a printed catalog for sale. There's a few things I really want, but I'm sure the bidding will get out of my zone quickly.
posted by dejah420 at 6:33 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I believe the PDF catalog said you could buy a copy for $40!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:49 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


ThePinkSuperhero: "I believe the PDF catalog said you could buy a copy for $40"

Sweet! I didn't want to try to download the pdf, so I'd only seen the online link from Usher, and I didn't see any mention of a catalog. Almost all big auctions have them, and they're often gorgeous. Collections like this; I would never in a million years have a lifestyle that would allow me to keep things like this in the condition they deserve, but I can see myself looking at pictures of them over and over.
posted by dejah420 at 8:07 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fabric really is hard to look after. Much as this is a gorgeous collection (my lord, Cleopatra's gown!) it's a labour of love, not an investment, and a collection that huge...the mind staggers to contemplate the costs of keeping it all together.

I do hope at least some of it winds up in public hands, or at least in the public eye. It's not uncommon for this sort of piece to be on indefinite loan by the owner to some museum or another - a fairly win-win situation, as the buyer gets the prestige of owning and philanthropically displaying something so lovely, and the museum gets the benefit of displaying it while having the on-hand expertise to keep the items in condition.
posted by Jilder at 8:40 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know how many of you checked out usher's link. It's for the auction site.

Marsha56, thanks for linking to Usher's link - I didn't realise it was the auction site! Wow, they are making it very easy/tempting to try to bid on something. Not that I can afford much, but I might try for a poster or two. I've always thought about collecting film posters and there's a particular one in this collection I'd love to get my hands on.
posted by crossoverman at 10:12 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


For those of you interested in the auction catalog, it is indeed worth the forty bucks. And if you feel like splurging, there's a hardcover edition signed by Debbie Reynolds herself available for $90 from the Paley Center.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:53 AM on June 6, 2011


I hope the V+A buy some pieces for their theatrical/stage collection. I'd love to get a real good look at some of this stuff, especially the hats.

Funnily enough, I'm currently reading Sunnyside, a fictionalised account of silent Hollywood, and it;s so strange to see Mary Pickford's outfits there.
posted by mippy at 11:43 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I stopped by the Paley Center today. The collection is amazing, and the place was packed. They've sold out of the auction catalog, and will be reprinting it. Call or email if you want a physical copy and they'll let you know when it gets reprinted.
posted by mogget at 3:57 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry guys. I got the date wrong. It's the 18th, not the 11th. I'm watching the auction right now online. The gorgeous Claudette Colbert Cleopatra gown just went for $40,000. It was originally valued at $20,000 to $30,000. So hopefully Debbie will do well today. She deserves it.
posted by marsha56 at 12:53 PM on June 18, 2011


Dorothy's blue dress from Wiz. of Oz just went for $910,000. Wow. It's not seen in the movie. It was an early version of the final dress that Judy wore and was only worn during the first two weeks of shooting and in wardrobe test shots.

The ruby slippers went for $510,000. They were also an early version and quite different from the shoes that appear in the movie. They were also used in wardrobe test shots. This version are in an 'arabian-pattern' with turned up toes.
posted by marsha56 at 2:45 PM on June 18, 2011


Marilyn's red-sequined gown just went for 1.2 million. Wow.
posted by marsha56 at 6:21 PM on June 18, 2011


where is the online auction?
posted by PinkMoose at 6:45 PM on June 18, 2011


The online auction is at:

http://64.114.165.190/bidlive/bidapp.aspx?as=20092&si=1&s=0
posted by marsha56 at 7:56 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Marilyn's Seven Year Itch dress just went for $4,600,000.
posted by marsha56 at 8:00 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


So the Romeo & Juliet poster I wanted went for $1700, well above the $300-500 they expected and way out of my price range.
posted by crossoverman at 9:10 PM on June 18, 2011


Oh, so sorry crossoverman.

It's still going on. They're at Lot 423 (armor from Ben Hur) out of 587 lots.

I'm still watching for Audrey Hepburn's gown from My Fair Lady (Lot 506) and Barbra Streisand's gown from Hello Dolly (Lot 538). Oh, and Liz Taylor's headdress from Cleopatra (Lot 473).
posted by marsha56 at 9:46 PM on June 18, 2011


I'm waiting for all those and for the costumes and guitar from The Sound of Music.
posted by crossoverman at 9:56 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Marlon Brando's naval outfit from The Mutiny on the Bounty - $90,000.

Charlton Heston's tunic from BenHur - $320,000.
posted by crossoverman at 10:34 PM on June 18, 2011


I saw those. They both surprised me. I would have guessed those numbers would have been reversed.
posted by marsha56 at 10:42 PM on June 18, 2011


I agree that Brando's naval outfit should have gone for a lot more. Auction fatigue?
posted by crossoverman at 10:47 PM on June 18, 2011


Probably. I thought some of the first 20 or so items following the 7 Year Itch dress were a lot higher that I expected. I attributed those to "auction exhilaration".
posted by marsha56 at 10:54 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was away from my computer. What happened with Lot 492? Did no one bid?
posted by crossoverman at 11:39 PM on June 18, 2011


Audrey Hepburn's Ascot dress from My Fair Lady - 3.7 million!
posted by crossoverman at 11:54 PM on June 18, 2011


The Sound of Music

- Guitar signed by Julie Andrews, $140,000
- 3-sheet poster, $6000
- "Do Re Mi" dress, $550,000
- Torquoise dress, $45,000
- Peasant dress, $42,500
- "Favourite Things" drapery costumes, $35,000
posted by crossoverman at 12:10 AM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I finally fell asleep. So I don't know what time it ended. But anyway, here are the highlights (items that went for $100,000 or more):

Rudolf Valentino's "Suit of Lights" matador outfit by Travis Banton for Blood and Sand (1922) - starting price $60,000 sold for $210,000

Charlie Chaplin's "Little Tramp" bowler hat. Worn in many productions - starting price $20,000 sold for $110,000

Judy Garland "Dorothy Gale" blue cotton test dress with polka dot trim and ivory sheer puff-sleeved blouse by Adrian from The Wizard of Oz (1939) - starting price $60,000 sold for $910,000

Judy Garland "Dorothy Gale" Arabian-pattern test "Ruby Slippers" from The Wizard of Oz (1939) - starting price $120,000 sold for $510,000

Marilyn Monroe "Lorelei Lee" red-sequined "Two Little Girls from Little Rock" showgirl gown with feathered hat by Travila for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) - starting price $200,000 sold for $1,200,000

1952 Red MG TD used by Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant in Monkey Business (1952) - starting price $20,000 sold for $210,000

Marilyn Monroe "Kay Weston" gold charmeuse saloon-girl gown by Travilla for River of No Return (1954) - starting price $80,000 sold for $510,000

Marilyn Monroe "Vicky" tropical print pink, black and white skirt, black halter top and hat from "Heat Wave" number by Travilla for There's No Business Like Show Business (1954) - starting price $200,000 sold for $500,000

Marilyn Monroe ivory pleated "Subway" dress by Travilla from "The Seven Year Itch" (1955) - starting price $1,000,000 sold for $4,600,000

Grace Kelly "Frances Stevens" 2-piece rose crepe outfit from scenic drive in To Catch A Thief (1955) - starting price $30,000 sold for $450,000

Grace Kelly "Princess Alexandra" ivory silk chiffon evening gown by Helen Rose from The Swan (1956) - starting price $15,000 sold for $110,000

Charlton Heston "Judah Ben-Hur" tunic and cape for royal procession into Rome from Ben-Hur (1959) - starting price $20,000 sold for $320,000

Elizabeth Taylor jeweled gold royal ceremonial headdress from Cleopatra (1965) - starting price $30,000 sold for $100,000

Audrey Hepburn's Ascot dress from My Fair Lady; designed by Cecil Beaton - starting price $200,000 sold for $3,700,000

Julia Andrews "Maria" acoustic guitar, autographed by Andrews from The Sound of Music (1965) - starting price $20,000 sold for $140,000

Julia Andrews "Maria" red-brown nubby jumper with white blouse from "Do-Re-Mi" number from the Sound of Music (1965) - starting price $40,000 sold for $550,000

Barbra Streisand "Dolly Levi" signature sleeveless gold velvet heavily jeweled gown with shoes and headpiece from Hello Dolly! (1969) - starting price $60,000 sold for $100,000

Audrey Hepburn's Ascot gown was the second highest item sold (behind Marilyn's Seven Year itch dress), but it was the item with the highest markup - more than 18 times its starting price.

A spectacular collection. Sad to see it broken up, but happy for Debbie Reynolds that the auction was so successful.
posted by marsha56 at 4:09 AM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


What happened with Lot 492? Did no one bid?

Janet Leigh's dance costume from Bye Bye Birdie. It looks like no one bid. I think there were around 2 dozen unsold lots. Still not bad for an auction with 587 items lasting over 12 hours. That auctioneer must be exhausted.
posted by marsha56 at 4:27 AM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


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