Going once, going twice, sold! The iconic blue and white checkered pinafore worn by Judy Garland for the role of Dorothy in the 1939 MGM classic Wizard of Oz sold for an incredible $1.56 million at a New York auction on Monday.
The auction was part of Bonhams Treasures from the Dream Factory sale, which was coordinated simultaneously with Turner Classic Movies. The preset estimate price determined by the auction house was $800,000, but that was quickly surpassed by bidders. The three highest bidders who fought for the dress reportedly did so via telephone. The identity of the buyer has not yet been revealed.
The famous frock is comprised of a blue and white gingham pinafore with a fitted bodice and a full skirt, along with a cream-colored high-neck blouse that has “Judy Garland” inscribed inside.
“As we witnessed today in the Bonhams saleroom, the dress is considered a true and timeless icon of classic Hollywood,” said Catherine Williamson, who works as Bonhams’ director of entertainment memorabilia.
Williamson stated that the dress sold on Monday is one of two original Dorothy costumes in existence: the other sold for $480,000 in 2012 at an auction hosted in Beverly Hills, California. A Cowardly Lion costume worn by actor Bert Lahr was also sold in another Bonhams auction in 2014 for a whopping $3.1 million; a record price for a costume from Wizard of Oz, according to the Bonhams website.
This particular costume was just one in a lot featuring 400 classic film pieces. Other notable items included a racing suit worn by Steve McQueen for Le Mans (sold for $425,000) and a Golden Ticket from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (sold for $35,000).