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Dorothy Dress From 'The Wizard Of Oz' Sells For More Than $1.5M

There are few costumes more recognizable than the blue-and-white checkered dress Judy Garland wore as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz. On Monday, an unidentified buyer snapped it up for $1.5 million over the phone during an auction at Bonhams in New York City.

The price exceeded expectations. It had been expected to sell for between $800,000 and $1.2 million.

Several dresses were created for Judy Garland to wear in the film. Some she did not wear during filming; they are referred to as "test" dresses. One such costume was sold at Bonhams last year for $245,000.

Wizard of Oz memorabilia has fetched high prices at auction in the past. Last year, the Cowardly Lion costume worn by Bert Lahr sold for more than $3 million.

The most iconic costume item from the 1939 movie might be Dorothy's ruby slippers. Researchers say four pairs were made for the film, including a pair held at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. A decade ago, a different pair was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn. The executive director of the museum says the shoes were insured for $1 million and could be worth between $2 million and $3 million now.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alexandra Starr