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 $1,565,000 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 $245,00.
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.
Perhaps the most iconic costume item from the 1939 movie are 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. A decade ago, a different pair were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The executive director of the museum says the shoes were insured for $1 million and could be worth between $2 and $3 million now.