Wizard of Oz dress fetches magical price

Last updated 05:00 12/11/2012
The Wizard of Oz
BECAUSE BECAUSE BECAUSE: An unknown bidder has paid US$480,000 for this dress.

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Judy Garland's blue and white gingham dress from The Wizard of Oz sold for US$480,0000 (NZ$589,000) at a Beverly Hills auction, while a slice of Prince William's wedding cake fetched $1,375.

Julien's Auctions said the price for the pinafore dress and white puffy-sleeved blouse that Garland wore throughout the 1939 film classic was in line with estimates.

But it was well below the sky-high figures paid last year for Hollywood costumes worn by Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, and a similar dress worn during tests for The Wizard of Oz that fetched $910,000 in 2011.

Auctioneer Darren Julien said the price difference was due to the fact that only a few test dresses were made for "The Wizard of Oz," while there are about seven versions of Garland's signature gingham pinafore.

The buyer of the Judy Garland dress, made by MGM costume designer Adrian, was not identified.

Other highlights of the two-day Hollywood Icons sale included a green floral dress worn by Julie Andrews in several scenes of the movie The Sound of Music, which sold for $38,400.

A racing jacket belonging to Steve McQueen sold for $50,000, while a purple wool skirt worn by Monroe in Canada while making the 1954 film River of No Return also went for $50,000.

Cake from two British royal weddings also fetched high prices at the auction. Julien's said that representatives of PawnUp.com led the bidding to obtain the slice of cake from Prince William's and Kate Middleton's 2011 wedding, as well as a piece from Prince Charles' and Princess Diana's 1981 nuptials ($1,375).

Prices have soared in recent years for top Hollywood costumes. Marilyn Monroe's white 'subway dress' from the 1955 movie The Seven Year Itch sold for $4.6 million last year, and Audrey Hepburn's Ascot dress from My Fair Lady fetched $3.7 million.

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- Reuters

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