Tag Archive: Wizard of Oz


In the Entertainment Memorabilia auction community, today is day one of the biggest auction weekend in years.  Following up on their second auction of Debbie Reynolds’ collection costumes, props and camera equipment from Hollywood’s Golden Age, Profiles in History pulled out all the stops and has accumulated props and costumes from sci-fi, fantasy, action TV and films, and an entire day devoted to original animation art.  It begins with the Icons of Hollywood Auction today and tomorrow, December 15-16, 2011, and continues Sunday, December 17, 2011, with the Icons of Animation Auction.

As reported here December 6, 2011, one item on the block is a special effects arm used for Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Summers as the original Bionic Woman.  But that just scratches the surface of great stuff available.  And based on recent auctions, there is no global economy problem, as props and costumes are breaking past records.  On eBay recently a Matt Smith Doctor Who costume sold for $75,000.  With a franchise as popular as Star Trek, and as old and with a similar fan following, this kind of price reflects fan loyalty and what really loyal fans are willing to shell out to hold a piece of TV or silver screen magic in their hands.

The auction starts today with original studio marketing photographs of various actors and actresses over the past 100 years, as well as lobby cards, posters and one of a kind costume sketches by the likes of Edith Head and other early designers.  Then lots of scripts and logo art from TV and film credits.  Here are some key items from Day One:

  • Billy Mumy shirt for his role as Will Robinson from Lost in Space, with an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.
  • One of the 1969 Dodge Chargers used as the General Lee in The Dukes of Hazzard has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.
  • Dalek from a 1985 episode of Doctor Who, estimated at $10,000 to $12,000.
  • Mork from Ork costume from Mork and Mindy, estimated at $40,000 to $60,000

Some key items from Day Two:

  • Bela Lugosi screen-worn cape as Count Dracula from Dracula, estimated at $1,500,000 to $2,000,000.
  • Longbow from The Adventures of Robin Hood, estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.
  • Judy Garland gingham dress as Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz, estimated at $200,000 to $300,000.
  • One of four known pairs of ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, estimated at $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.
  • Bert Lahr’s Cowardly Lion costume from The Wizard of Oz, estimated at $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.

  • A variety of items from The Planet of the Apes and Back to the Future franchises.
  • The DeLorean from Back to the Future III that was at Comic-Con this year, estimated at $400,000 to $600,000.

  • Steve McQueen driving suit from LeMans, estimated at $200,000 to $300,000.
  • Steve McQueen U.S. Navy uniform from The Sand Pebbles, estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.

  • Gene Wilder Willy Wonka hat from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, estimated at $20,000 to $30,000.
  • Sean Connery Marko Ramius Russian naval uniform from The Hunt for Red October, estimated at $6,000 to $8,000.

  • The “Red October” submarine model from The Hunt for Red October, estimated at $20,000 to $30,000.
  • Michael Keaton batsuit from Batman Returns, estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.
  • Endo-skull from Terminator 2, estimated at $12,000 to $15,000.
  • Bruce Campbell Ash costume from Army of Darkness, estimated at $12,000 to $15,000.

  • Peter Weller Robocop costume from Robocop, estimated at $10,000 to $12,000.
  • James Marsden Cyclops costume from X-Men 2, estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.
  • PreCrime stunt jetpack from Minority Report, estimated at $4,000 to $6,000.
  • Bob Newhart Papa Elf costume from Elf, estimated at $8,000 to $12,000.
  • Will Farrell Buddy the Elf costume from Elf, estimated at $8,000 to $12,000.
  • Star Trek Original series wooden hand phaser, estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.
  • Patrick Stewart Captain Jean-Luc Picard tunic from Star Trek: The Next Generation, estimated at $4,000 to $6,000.
  • Jonathan Frakes Commander Will Riker tunic from Star Trek: The Next Generation, estimated at $3,000 to $4,000.

  • Collection of six costumes from bridge crew of Star Trek Voyager, estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.
  • Original NASA Gemini spacesuit, estimated at $150,000 to $250,000.
  • Russian spacesuit worn by first Russian woman to walk in space, estimated at $200,000 to $300,000.

On Day Three, every lot is a masterwork of animation history.  Lots include original art from Little Golden Books like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Smokey the Bear and The Night Before Christmas, Charles Schulz art from The Pumpkin Patch and Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, original work from production studios from Hanna Barbera to Walt Disney.  Major highlights include:

  • The earliest known color cel of Mickey Mouse, estimated at $80,000 to $120,000.
  • Cels of the Queen and Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, estimated between $12,000 and $20,000.

  • Giant pan cel from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, estimated at $80,000 to $120,000.
  • Original Dumbo, Bambi, Lady and the Tramp and Cinderella cels, estimated at $4,000 to $8,000.

  • Several cels from Song of the South.
  • Several stunning cels of Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, estimated from $300 to $80,000.

More information is available at the Profiles in History website.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

The ultimate in original borg technology could be yours.  For the right price.

Auction house Profiles in History‘s Icons of Hollywood auction is December 15-16, 2011, and it offers another round of some of the best props and costumes Hollywood has to offer, from a set of Dorothy’s actual screen-used slippers from Wizard of Oz to Mork’s outfit from Mork & Mindy to Steve McQueen’s naval uniform from The Sand Pebbles to one of the cars used as the General Lee in Dukes of Hazzard to a DeLorean from Back to the Future III we discussed here this summer, to an original Dalek from Doctor Who.  There’s something at the coming auction for everyone.

But for fans of cybernetics, cyborgs, and bionics, and other early borg technologies, and fans of the Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman, nothing is cooler than the special effects arm modeled off of Lindsay Wagner as the Bionic Woman.  Next to one of the Bionic Man’s red jumpsuits (anyone have one for sale? let me know!) this is a great prop that gets to the heart of what the series was about.

It is a special effects arm made of latex, wires, springs, a circuit board and circuitry, used to show the implanting of an “evil programming chip” used as a key story element in the 1994 TV movie Bionic Ever After?, the show where Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers finally tie the knot.  It includes clamps, syringes and tubing that is reminiscent of the popular toy repair center from the 1970s.

The prop was used in a scene where the bad guys perform surgery on a drugged Jaime, implanting a chip with a computer virus in it to make her bionics go haywire.

It is estimated to sell for at least $2,000-$3,000.  It comes from the collection of movie makeup guru Jeff Goodwin, as discussed on this website, where you can see photos of other items he consigned to the coming Profiles in History auction.

More information on the auction can be found at the Profiles in History website.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg

From time to time you hear of references to an artist as THE cover artist, the most sought after, etc., but no artist can touch what Alex Ross has been able to do with his paintbrushes.  His work is instantly recognizable from its sweeping heroic themes, idealistic and optimistic characterization, and an elevation of the human form to not only superhero but from superhero to godlike magnificence.  His use of color, tricks of light, chromes, reflections and high contrast imagery include themes of hope, confidence, power, pride and sometimes even fear.  So with the above pantheon of DC Comics Gods-of-sorts from the cover to the Justice series as #15 and the below Marvel Comics “Avengers Assemble” print sold at San Diego Comic-Con International in 2010 as #14, we introduce a sequence from #15 to #1 of the most striking, stunning, and powerful creations to be featured on comic book covers, posters and marketing materials by Alex Ross–and our “just plain favorites”–created over his standout career so far.

13.  THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST.  Ross created this work for the 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz and it is currently on display at the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.  Those monkeys are… still creepy and Margaret Hamilton’s witch is still one of the best villains of all time.

12.  PRINCE NAMOR, THE SUB-MARINER, AND HIS CREATOR, BILL EVERETT.  Ross created this piece for the 60th anniversary of the classic Marvel character and his artist gets equal billing, in black and white and reminiscent of Norman Rockwell’s self portrait work.

11.  FLASH GORDON DVD COVER.  Created by Ross for the 2007 special edition release of the DVD, Ross has said Flash Gordon was his favorite movie.  A photograph of Max Von Sydow as Ming, the nemesis of Flash, couldn’t look any better than this painting.

10.  SUPERMAN, STRENGTH #1 COVER.  This Ross homage to Action Comics #1 features Ross’s most painted superhero, Superman, the man of steel, doing what he does best.  If only filmmakers would get an actor to play Superman that actually looks like Ross’s vision of Superman!

9.  PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA.  A 2008 print and Wizard magazine cover of the 44th president of the United States–an homage to Ross’ own similar Superman design.  An artist that can make even a president look cool.  Obama is known as a comic book fan, and was featured on a cover of Spider-man, among other books.

8.  KRYPTO, COVER FOR SUPERMAN, ISSUE #680.  Ross features heroes of all sorts in his designs, but often elevates the underdog to supreme being, and with Superman’s dog here he is shown atop a marble lion.

7.  CAPTAIN MARVEL FROM ROSS’S GRAPHIC NOVEL “KINGDOM COME.”  I once spoke to a friend of Alex Ross.  A close friend.  Who amazingly looked just like Captain Marvel.  Not a coincidence, as Ross regularly paints heroes using his friends as models.  This page showing Superman kneeling before him, best shows what Ross could do with even a standard catalog hero of the past.  He restored the legendary “Earth’s Mightiest Mortal” to exactly that status.

6.  THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA.  This pantheon piece was used individually and as shown below on numerous posters and books.  I love it because, with all the incarnations of the JLA, Ross gets the team exactly right with every member that should be on the team.  From the mightily small Atom to Superman, this is who I also think of as DC’s main fighting force.  Could these guys be more cocky?

5.  THE JOKER AND HARLEY QUINN, FROM GRAPHIC NOVEL “BATMAN: HARLEY QUINN” COVER.  Here we get to see the dark side of Ross–his exquisitely frightening Joker, in a dance with his best gal, the homicidal Ms. Quinn.  What a couple they make, especially as illustrated by Ross.

4.  GATCHAMAN DVD COVER.  Like Ross’s ability to make Captain Marvel and other classic superheroes appear great once again, Ross can take nostalgic series, movies, characters, darned near anything and make us want to revisit these characters.  Whether you saw this Japanese earliest modern incarnation of anime as G-Force or as Battle of the Planets, these kids turned heroes are as familiar as old friends.

3.  SPACE GHOST ISSUE #1.  When I saw this issue hit the stands I had to have it.  The one problem with Ross only working cover art is that you expect the interior pages to be just as good as the cover art, which is why Justice and Marvels are such great treats to the eye.  With Space Ghost, Ross takes an obscure hero that we best know as a TV show host and makes him every bit the counterpart to Superman & Co.

2.  WIZARD COMICS COVER ART, BATMAN’s ENEMIES.  This is one of Ross’s most univerally acclaimed images and rightly so.  Everyone is too close for comfort and Batman goes toward the baddest baddie’s throat first, his #1 foe, The Joker.

1.  SESAME STREET’S SUPER GROVER, PACKAGING ART FOR PALISADES TOYS 2005 ACTION FIGURE.  How can you beat this painting?  If you don’t remember Grover from Sesame Street, dig around You Tube and watch some old episodes.  Before Elmo… there was Grover.  The muppet who loved everyone, meek and mild, he’s the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and more.  And when times are tough, and there’s no one to protect us all, who will rise to meet the challenge?  It is Super Grover.  When I saw this print at a con a few years ago I froze in my tracks and just couldn’t believe it.  It’s not just the art, sometimes it is the choice of subject matter that tells half the story.  Kudos to Ross for thinking of this one.

Well that’s my list.  Please drop us a comment if you think I have any glaring omission or if you just want to chime in with your list.

*All images above Copyright by Alex Ross or his publishers.  Many of these prints and original art are for sale on his website at www.alexrossart.com.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

It should come as no surprise that screen legends including Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Julie Andrews, and Elizabeth Taylor are just as popular as ever with one iconic Marilyn Monroe dress selling at auction Saturday for more than $5 million and other unique costumes fetching six and seven figures each. 

Phenomenal hammer prices were all the buzz Saturday in Beverly Hills, CA, at the Debbie Reynolds auction of more than 500 one-of-a-kind classic Hollywood costumes and props.  You could tell just from the second lot this was going to be a memorable auction, with Rudolph Valentino’s matador outfit from Blood and Sand fetching $210,000 ($258,300 including buyer’s premium)

To follow up on our earlier post, here are the prices realized for the key items I listed, with the first number as the hammer price and for some of the big selling items I have included a second amount showing the actual price considering the buyer’s 23% premium (the mark-up above the hammer price billed by the auction house):

Judy Garland’s early production ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz.  Estimated at $120-150,000.  Sold for $510,000 ($627,300 with premium).

Judy Garland’s early production dress from The Wizard of Oz.  Estimated at $60-80,000.  Sold for $910,000 ($1,119,300 with premium).

Edmund Gwenn’s Kris Kringle Santa suit from Miracle on 34th Street.  Estimated at $20-30,000.  Sold for $22,500 ($27,675 with premium).

Ape, gorilla and orangutan costumes from Planet of the Apes, as well as flight suit and Heston costume.  All combined POTA costumes sold for $68,500.

Sean Connery costume from the Highlander films.  Estimated at $12-15,000.   Sold for $18,000.

And the really big stuff:

Marilyn Monroe white subway-blowin’ dress (yep, that one) from Seven Year Itch.  Estimated at $1-2 million.  Sold for a whopping $4.6 million ($5,658,000 with premium).

Marilyn Monroe’s red sequined dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  Estimated at $200-300,000.  Sold for whopping $1.2 million ($1,476,000 with premium).

Audrey Hepburn’s classic white dress from My Fair Lady.  Estimated at $200-300,000.  Sold for a whopping $3.7 million ($4,551,000 with premium).

Julie Andrews’s key mountain singing dress from The Sound of Music.  Estimated at $40-60,000.  Sold for $550,000 ($676,500 with premium).

Charlton Heston’s costume from Ben Hur.  Estimated at $20-30,000.  Sold for $320,000 ($393,600 with premium).

Gary Cooper’s uniform from Sergeant York.  Estimated at $20-30,000.  Sold for $55,000.

Jimmy Stewart’s leather costume from How the West was Won.  Estimated at $8-12,000.  Sold for $17,000.

A huge collection of Elizabeth Taylor costumes, including National Velvet (Estimated at $10-15,000) (sold for $60,000), and her Cleopatra headpiece, estimated at $30-50,000 (sold for $100,000).

Charlie Chaplin’s hat from The Tramp.  Estimated at $20-30,000.  Sold for $110,000 ($135,300 with premium).

Laurel and Hardy’s signature costumes.  Estimated at $15-20,000.  Sold for $16,000.

Harpo Marx’s wig and hat.  Estimated at $20-30,000.  Sold for $45,000.

Gene Kelly’s outfit from Singin’ in the Rain.  Estimated at $12-15,000.  Sold for $14,000.

Rex Harrison’s outfit and doctor bag from Doctor Doolittle.  Estimated at $12-15,000.  Sold for $19,000.

Grace Kelly’s costume (seen below) from Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief.  Estimated at $30-50,000.  Another surprise, selling for $450,000 ($553,500 with premium).

Claude Rains’s uniform as Capt. Renault from Casablanca.  $12-15,000.  Sold for $55,000.

Robert Redford and Katherine Ross costumes from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance KidSold for $24,500 combined.

And some other noteworthy sales:

Marilyn Monroe saloon girl outfit from River of No ReturnSold for $510,000 ($627,300 with premium).

Marilyn Monroe costume from No Business Like Show Business.  Sold for $500,000 ($615,000 with premium).

1952 red MG TD car used in Monkey Business with Marilyn Monroe.  Sold for $210,000 ($258,300 with premium).

Grace Kelly outfit from The Swan Sold for $110,000 ($135,300 with premium).

Barbara Streisand gown from Hello Dolly.  Sold for $100,000 ($123,000 with premium).

Basil Rathbone jacket as Sherlock Holmes from Hound of the Baskervilles.  Sold for $50,000.

Richard Burton costume from Cleopatra Sold for $85,000.

Marlon Brando uniform from 1962’s Mutiny on the Bounty.  Sold for $90,000.

Charles Laughton uniform as Captain Bligh from the original Mutiny on the BountySold for $42,500.

Claudette Colbert gown from the 1934 CleopatraSold for $40,000.

Great Garbo dress from Anna KareninaSold for $40,000.

Ingrid Bergman suit of armor from Joan of ArcSold for $50,000.

So the big question is whether the creditors in the bankruptcy that required the sale of these items were able to be paid off, or whether Reynolds must continue to sell off her estate.  With about $20 million from Saturday hopefully that will at least make a big dent in amounts owed.  It would be nice if Reynolds had a way to continue with her proposed museum.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

Debbie Reynolds, film star and the real mother to Princess Leia’s Carrie Fisher, spent the past 50 years acquiring what Hollywood was throwing out.  Until fairly recently, Hollywood production companies viewed props and costumes as trash to throw out after production wrapped, or at best, something to store in giant warehouses for later productions.  But Reynolds had a vision and was in the right place at the right time over and over again.  She managed to amass what must be the single greatest collection of Hollywood costumes from the classic era.  She began her obsession with the 1970 MGM auction of its costume warehouses when she maxed out her finances to acquire stunning one-of-a-kind pieces by Hollywood’s greatest designers, costumes she couldn’t bear the thought of not landing in a museum.  Current studios know the value of props and costumes, but back even into the 1970s, not so much.  That said, she spent a great deal of money over the years putting a museum worthy assemblage together.  And that was the problem.

Unfortunately, her vision ends today as her business efforts to make the museum failed, and the result was a bankrupt project and the need to sell the collection to pay off creditors.  Tomorrow, June 18, 2011, key pieces of the collection will be sold off by auction house Profiles in History in Beverly Hills at the Paley Center for Media, where you could see a preview today of the costumes and props to be sold.  There’s good and bad to this.  For one, her collection had not been on display for years, most items boxed up on her ranch, in rail cars, in out buildings, in vaults.  So if you follow the philosophy that costumes first and foremost should be displayed, then getting into private hands may be the answer.  Personally I think preservation is paramount.  And what Reynolds did was keep everything in incredible shape.  No doubt the high-end buyers of these expensive works of art will do the same.  It will be an exciting opportunity for high-end buyers as most of the items are expected to fetch in excess of $10,000.  Reynolds has previewed her collection on both Oprah Winfrey’s show weeks ago and this week on SyFy Network’s “Hollywood Treasures.”

And I’m not kidding when I say this will be no regular TV and film prop and costume sale.  I think the word “iconic” is overused.  But today I’ll call out this sale as the exception.  Here is just a short list of what is being sold starting with some great fantasy genre pieces (several other items from her collection will be sold off later this year, too):

Judy Garland’s early production ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz.  Estimated at $120-150,000.

Judy Garland’s early production dress from The Wizard of Oz.  Estimated at $60-80,000.

Edmund Gwenn’s Kris Kringle Santa suit from Miracle on 34th Street.  Estimated at $20-30,000.

Ape, gorilla and orangutan costumes from Planet of the Apes, as well as flight suit and Heston costume.

Sean Connery costume from the Highlander films.  Estimated at $12-15,000. 

And the really big stuff:

Marilyn Monroe white subway-blowin’ dress (yep, that one) from Seven Year Itch.  Estimated at (gulp) $1-2 million.

Marilyn Monroe’s red sequined dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  Estimated at $200-300,000.

Audrey Hepburn’s classic white dress from My Fair Lady.  Estimated at $200-300,000.

Julie Andrews’s key mountain singing dress from The Sound of Music.  Estimated at $40-60,000.

Charleton Heston’s costume from Ben Hur.  Estimated at $20-30,000.

Gary Cooper’s uniform from Sergeant York.  Estimated at $20-30,000. 

Jimmy Stewart’s leather costume from How the West was Won.  Estimated at $8-12,000.

A huge collection of Elizabeth Taylor costumes, including National Velvet (Estimated at $10-15,000), and her Cleopatra headpiece, estimated at $30-50,000.

Charlie Chaplin’s hat from The Tramp.  Estimated at $20-30,000.

Laurel and Hardy’s signature costumes.  Estimated at $15-20,000.

Harpo Marx’s wig and hat.  Estimated at $20-30,000.

Gene Kelly’s outfit from Singin’ in the Rain.  Estimated at $12-15,000.

Rex Harrison’s outfit and doctor bag from Doctor Doolittle.  Estimated at $12-15,000.

Grace Kelly’s costume (seen below) from Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief.  Estimated at $30-50,000.

Claude Rains’s uniform as Capt. Renault from Casablanca.  $12-15,000.

Robert Redford and Katherine Ross costumes from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.  You’ll also find key costumes from Katherine Hepburn, Claudette Colbert, W.C. Fields, Clark Gable, Shirley Temple, Mae West, Tyrone Power, Basil Rathbone, Al Jolson, Spencer Tracy, Lawrence Olivier, James Cagney, John Wayne, Orson Welles, Ingrid Bergman, Frank Sinatra, Joan Crawford, Vivien Leigh, Betty Grable, Vincent Price, Natalie Wood, Errol Flynn, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth, Ginger Rogers, Glenn Ford, Peter Ustinov, Jimmy Stewart, Lauren Bacall, Jean Simmons, Deborah Kerr, Marlon Brando, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, Yul Brynner, Shirley Jones, Kim Novak, Dean Martin, Gregory Peck, and even Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, and Mike Myers.

More information is available at www.profilesinhistory.com.  Happy bidding, movie fans!

By C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

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