Somewhere over the rainbow: Bonhams sells Judy Garland’s gingham dress

The original dress worn by the star Judy Garland (1922-1969) when she immortalised the character of Dorothy in the classic film masterpiece, The Wizard of Oz, will be sold by Bonhams on 16 March 2005 in their galleries in Knightsbridge, London, in a sale of Rock, Pop & Film Memorabilia.

Only 17 when she played the renowned character, Garland went on to become an iconic Hollywood figure, known for her acting and singing talent as well as a tumultuous personal life that came to a tragic halt only 30 years later. Jon Baddeley, Group Head of the Collector’s Department at Bonhams said,

“This dress represents the quintessential magic of childhood in the most beloved film of the 20th century. It has become a cherished memory for millions of fans worldwide and was worn by one of the most talented and respected stars in Hollywood. Film costume rarely gets better than this.”

The Wizard of Oz is a story of a young girl, Dorothy Gale from Kansas – played by the young Judy Garland – who is swept away by a tornado to a breathtaking land over the rainbow. Dorothy embarks on a quest to see the fabled Wizard who can assist her return to Kansas with the help of three friends she meets while travelling the yellow brick road – the Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow. Bringing to screen vibrant colour, magnificent excitement and pure magic, it created time honoured characters that have been at the core of many children’s upbringing for decades, from the heroine and her companions, to the Wicked Witch of the West and of course, Toto, Dorothy’s beloved dog.

The Wizard of Oz was the most expensive film to be made at the time and has been seen by more people than any other film ever made. It also ranks among the best musicals ever made.

The dress, estimated at £25,000-35,000 is made from blue and white gingham cotton and designed in the style of a pinafore from 1939. It was tailored to fit Judy Garland, with a waist of 27 inches and height of 3.4 feet and contains a label with her name sewn on the inside hem.

Garland worked for nearly forty-five of her forty-seven years. She has become one of the world’s most revered personalities who came and went in less than a lifetime of most of her fans and left an indelible mark on show business history. Dorothy’s dress reinforces the popular interpretation of the film as a tribute to youthful innocence, moral integrity, courage and the optimism of an era. It symbolises the character for which Judy Garland is best remembered today.

For more details visit the Bonhams web site.

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