Great balls of fire, Mammy, Miss Scarlett's dresses are falling apart! The iconic costumes worn by actress Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind are suffering loose seams, fading colors and other signs of old age. Where shall they go? What shall be done?
Enter the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin. The center is trying to restore five of Scarlett O'Hara's gowns to their cinema splendor. "These dresses were only made to last as long as it took to shoot the movie," says Steve Wilson, the center's film curator. Scarlett's famous "curtain dress" is one of the few survivors.
As the movie goes, Scarlett desperately rips down her curtains to turn them into a dress to impress Rhett Butler. The dress did its job, but it wasn't built to last. "Just the weight of the velvet of this dress pulls the seams apart," Wilson tells NPR's Scott Simon.
Wilson is involved in the center's effort to raise $30,000 to repair the curtain outfit and four other costumes, including the wedding dress Scarlett wore to marry Charles Hamilton instead of her love, Ashley Wilkes.
That dress was designed to tell its own story, Wilson says. It was actually fitted on the actress who played Scarlett's mother rather than Leigh, to underscore the rushed nature of the wedding.
"The dress is a little bit too large, and it's in an old style," Wilson says. Scarlett wouldn't have had time to have her own dress made, so she would have worn her mother's. "So just very quickly, looking at her wearing that dress, it tells you a lot about the back story."
"Really," he adds, "there's nothing that captures the human aspect of a film the way a costume does."
There are those who say $30,000 is too much to think about right now, and tomorrow is another day. But frankly, Wilson says, "there are just as many people who do give a damn about these costumes
In this blog, we consider what Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress is really worth.
The little black dress she wore as Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” sold at auction in 2006 for £410,000! At the time, that was equivalent to approximately $806,000.
Let’s take a second to consider what you could do with $806,000:
1. You could fly from New York to London—where the auction was held at Christie’s—and back 1,000 times.
2. You could buy 723 little black dresses designed by Hubert de Givenchy, the designer that made the Hepburn dress from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” If you wanted, you could choose a less-expensive Givenchy and have yourself about 1,300 of them.
3. You could buy 76,852 copies of the movie, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and 70,163 copies of the book version.
4. You could order 124,028 omelets with homefries, toast, and jelly at Tiffany’s, a diner in Philadelphia.
I think you get my point. It’s a truckload of money. More money than many people see in their lifetimes, and somebody spent that much on a dress they will almost certainly never wear.
To put it in even more perspective, the only dress that comes close to matching Hepburn’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” get-up was the blue-and-white frock worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” It sold for £140,000, about a third of what Hepburn’s cost. A bargain.
So I probably should have assumed all along that the $806,000 raised by the sale of the world’s most famous little black dress went to charity. To be more specific, the fibers in that dress were turned into bricks, wood, and mortar used to build schools in Calcutta, India.
By Daniel Bohm (Collectors Weekly 2010)
More than 70 years after Superman first saved the day in the pages of a comic book, the Man of Steel has reached out and saved a family in the real world.
While packing up the home they expected to lose, a family found their hero stashed in the basement, when they came across "Action Comics No. 1" in their basement. The family struck gold when they discovered the comic book that introduced Superman to the world and brought the superhero to life.
The comic is expected to fetch more than a quater-million dollars when it goes up for auction. In February 2010, a copy of "Action Comic No. 1" sold for $1 million, followed a month later by the sale of another copy in better condition at 1.5 million.
by Caroline Ashleigh
July 2010 - A Fresno, California construction worker may have made a $200 million find of Ansel Adams* glass negatives, for which he paid only $45 ten years ago, portraying scenes from Yosemite National Park and San Francisco, may now be worth hundreds of millions, if authenticated by appraisers. Continue to follow our blog on the outcome of this story...
Ok, so he’s not technically an antique, seeing as he passed away in 1965, however following the July 15 Christie’s auction of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans memorabilia, Rogers’ horse Trigger can be classified as one expensive collectible after selling for $266,500.
First purchased by Rogers on a payment plan for $2,500 back in 1938, Rogers needed to select a horse for the film Under Western Stars. The horse then known as “Golden Cloud,” handled so well it was reported Rogers never looked at another.
The horse starred in 188 movies and the Roy Rogers Show on NBC from 1951 to 1957. When he died in 1965 of old age, Rogers was reluctant to “put him in the ground” so he had Trigger mounted and put on display at the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum.
The mount was purchased July 15 by Patrick Gottsch, founder and operator of RFD-TV, a nationally-broadcast rural-themed TV network. Gottsch plans to display Trigger at RFD-TV’s corporate headquarters in Omaha.
It seems Trigger is a good match for the channel’s television lineup as well. The station will air Roy Rogers movies starting in November with Rogers’ son Dusty and grandson Dustin as hosts of a regular program.
by Antique Trader
Photo Courtesy Christies
There's no place like home - and that's especially true of the warehouse that shelters actress Debbie Reynolds' enormous collection of movie memorabilia, including Dorothy's ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz" (shown here). Experts Caroline Ashleigh and Reynolds' son Todd Fisher give "Antiques Roadshow" the grand tour of what's believed to be the largest private accumulation of movie memorabilia in the world -- valued at an astonishing $50 million.
Photo courtesy Antiques Roadshow