Looking to Sell Your Hollywood Collectibles? Then we’ve got an Auction for You
A Dorothy “test” dress and pinafore from “The Wizard of Oz” is expected to lead the Bonhams/TCM “No Place Like Hollywood” auction, scheduled for November. (Photo: Bonhams)
Judy Garland modeling the “test” dress and pinafore from “The Wizard of Oz” during a costume showing. The dress has a presale estimate of $200,000 to 300,000.
Last year’s Bonhams and Turner Classic Movies’ “What Dreams are Made of”auction drew more than 700 bidders who bought a wide array of movie memorabilia led by the more than $4 million paid for the authentic Maltese Falcon statuette used in the classic John Huston/Humphrey Bogart film.
This year, more than 1,000 are expected to register for the second Bonhams/TCM auction, the “No Place Like Hollywood,” scheduled for November. If you have a blockbuster Hollywood-related item you might like to put up for auction, you have until August to consign items with Bonhams for this sale, if you wish.
Whether you have “the stuff that dreams are made of”—aka, the Maltese Falcon—or a smaller yet unique and valuable piece of movie lore, check with the auction house to see if it would make the cut.
Lead items such as the falcon “do bring more bidders in,” said Catherine Williamson, director of entertainment memorabilia for Bonhams. “A rising tide lifts all boats. At the very least, they put more eyes on your catalog and your room. They may not bid on it, but something else in the room beside the multi-million dollar Maltese Falcon might catch their attention.”
This two-piece costume worn by Rita Hayworth in the movie “Gilda.” (Photo: Bonhams)
Hayworth wearing the costume in “Gilda” that is expected to sell for $40,000 to 60,000.
Hooking up with TCM was “A game-changer” for the Bonhams entertainment memorabilia auctions, Williams said. “We started by sponsoring TMC’s L.A. film festival, doing an appraisal clinic for them. We had a great time there and looking for something else we could do together, someone suggested why not have an auction? The first was 2013.”
Items expected to draw top dollars at this year’s auction include costumes from 1939’s “Wizard of Oz,” such as a Judy Garland/Dorothy test dress and several Munchin costumes. Dorothy’s test dress is expected to sell for somewhere between $200,000 and $300,000.
“That’s what they’re going for these days,” said Williamson of iconic costumes from classic movies.
An orange Munchkin jacket from the “Wizard of Oz” (left) will bring no small price; the auction house estimates it will bring between $8,000 and 12,000, while this Adrian-designed prototype winged-monkey cape (above) is expected to hammer for $10,000 to 12,000. (Photo: Bonhams)
The Munchkin costumes are much less expensive by comparison and are expected to bring in from $8,000 to $12,000 each. They’re also auctioning a unique prototype of the flying monkey costume used in the film.
Williamson notes that much of this movie memorabilia was sold relatively recently and the auction house has a good handle on provenance, knowing exactly where many of these items came from. The Munchin costumes, for instance, were part of the early 1970s MGM costume department sale, where 15,000 items were auctioned.
Producer Albert Zugsmith’s final draft copy of the screenplay for “A Touch of Evil,” which written and starred Orson Welles, It could be had for an estimated $5,000 to 7,000. (Photo: Bonhams)
“We would not have this memorabilia market today if that hadn’t happened,” she said. “And a lot of people held on to what they bought until today. The Munchin costumes came to us from someone who was 20 years old and bid on them back then. We know where they’re been in the 40-odd years since.”
Williamson says the costumes and props are often what grab attention, but she personally likes the “behind the scenes stuff; working scripts, documents from the special effects department,” she said.
Since this year is the 75th anniversary of both “The Wizard of Oz,” and “Gone with the Wind,” Williamson said they’re particularly interested in items from those films, but other pieces of movie memorabilia are sought for consignment.
Williamson says Bonhams takes “standard fees” from the final gavel price.
For more information about how to consign items, visit the TCM website or Bonhams online presence.
Allan Maurer is a Worthologist who specializes in Hollywood and movie memorabilia and the publisher of the web site BestFilmFests.
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