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Thursday, 25 May, 2000, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Ruby slippers fetch $660,000
The Wizard of Oz
Judy Garland as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz
A pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz have been sold at auction for $660,000 (412,000).

The size 6B shoes (four-and-a half in the UK) were bought by David Elkouby, a private collector who owns a memorabilia shop in Hollywood.

But the Cowardly Lion costume from the same film, which was expected to fetch a similar price, failed to sell.

The auction of Hollywood memorabilia at Christie's East in New York brought in more than $1.6m (1m) in total.


Ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz
Expensive taste in shoes - the ruby slippers went for $666,000

A 1937 Phantom III Rolls-Royce used in the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger exceeded all expectations, when it sold for $402,000 (251,000) - more than double the estimated sale price.

Meanwhile, a complete outfit worn by Christopher Reeve in Superman and Superman II fetched $56,400 (32,250) and Helen Slater's Supergirl costume went for $12,925 (8,078).

But it was the dainty ruby slippers that took pride of place.

Made from red satin and covered in red sequins, they are one of only four surviving pairs from the eight Garland had made for her role as Dorothy in the 1939 classic.

In the film, Dorothy, acquires them when they magically appear on her feet, following the death of their owner, the Wicked Witch of the East.

Museum

The witch's sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, does everything in her power to get them back but fails and at the end of the movie, Dorothy memorably clicks them together to leave Oz, uttering the immortal words: "There's no place like home."

The new owner could not contain his excitement at acquiring the coveted footwear.

"They're the ultimate piece in any form for movie memorabilia," he gushed. "It's the cat's meow."


Sean Connery
Sean Connery as James Bond. The Rolls Royce used in Goldfinger fetched $402,000

He added that he was aiming to open a museum in Hollywood, where the shoes would go on display.

The Cowardly Lion outfit worn by Bert Lahr failed to sell when bids stopped at $550,000 (344,000), but one of his paw-style shoes was snapped up for $25,850 (16,100).

Other items of interest that went under the hammer included lingerie, letters and prints of Marilyn Monroe that were all sold for more than $10,000 (6,250) and a certificate of conversion to Judaism signed by Monroe and her third husband Arthur Miller which fetched $49,350 (30,843) - nearly half the price paid for it seven months ago.

But none of the treasures came close to the all-time record for a piece of Hollywood.

That distinction belongs to the best picture Oscar for Gone With The Wind, bought last year by Michael Jackson for $1,542,500 (964,000).

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09 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Wizard price for Oz dress
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