"Wizard of Oz" ruby slippers up for auction

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 22, 2011 4:43 PM
"Wizard of Oz" ruby slippers up for auction

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A pair of the iconic ruby red slippers from "The Wizard of Oz" is going up for auction with an estimated price of $2 - $3 million.

California auction house Profiles in History said the slippers -- one of four known surviving pairs made for the 1939 movie -- are believed to have been worn by Judy Garland's Dorothy when she clicks her heels to return home to Kansas near the end of the film.

The slippers will be auctioned on December 16 in Los Angeles as part of a Hollywood memorabilia sale. Profiles in History owner Joe Maddalena said he was expecting bids from around the world.

"This is the most important film prop in the world. There is nothing more famous," said Maddalena. "They are one of the greatest pieces of pop culture in existence."

One of the pairs of slippers used in the "Wizard of Oz" is on exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, one is in private hands and another was stolen from the Judy Garland museum in Minnesota.

Maddalena said the pair up for auction in December were originally found on the MGM lot by costume department worker Kent Warner in the early 1970s, and later sold at auction in 1988 to a private collector.

They are marked #7 Judy Garland, and the leather soles are painted red. They are described as in mint condition but with light scuffs on the soles.

The auction house said the scuffs suggested they were used in close-up shots when Garland kicks her heels together three times, and possibly were placed on the protruding feet of the Wicked Witch of the East after she was squashed by Dorothy's house.

The slippers have a pre-sale estimate of $2 - $3 million. A pair of red test slippers for "The Wizard of Oz" from the vast Hollywood collection of actress Debbie Reynolds sold for $612,000 in May.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)