Debbie Reynolds shocked everyone with the amazing collection she put on the auction block earlier this year; her second one was somewhat less impressive, and the prices showed it. Although there were some cool pieces, overall, compared to the first auction, it did seem a bit like she was scraping the barrel; not quite sure why she didn't just sell everything at once. Over the next two weeks, I'll show a few of the items that were of particular interest to me. First up...
THE LITTLE PRINCESS
Arthur Treacher court-jester tunic designed by Gwen Wakeling from the Shirley Temple movie, "The Little Princess," 1939. SOLD FOR $650. Veteran British character actor Arthur Treacher plays a frustrated ex-vaudevillian forced into subservience to his cruel sister running the girls boarding school which Shirley Temple attends. This humorous split-color satin jester’s outfit by Gwen Wakeling is worn by Treacher to great effect in Shirley’s dream fantasy number in The Little Princess. United Costumers label inside reads, “ARTHUR TREACHER B931”. The special blue dye for costumes in 3-strip Technicolor films is one of the most fugitive, and has here faded to aubergine; else, with minor handling and aging, Very Good overall.
Ruth Warrick two piece period dress designed by Edward Stevenson from Citizen Kane, 1941. SOLD FOR $2,500. Mocha wool two piece period dress of short-bodice jacket with chocolate velvet collar and gathered sleeves, and long vent-pleated skirt, designed by Edward Stevenson for Ruth Warrick, who wears this when Orson Welles debuts her to his staff in Citizen Kane. Jacket is production labeled “CP-3-8 R.Warrick” plus “1904” to designate time period in plotline for this costume. Skirt labeled “CP-3-7 Warrick”. Aside from a few tiny scattered stains and moth holes, generally Very Fine condition, virtually as screen-worn.
There were a number of items that were from Judy Garland movies, although none of them really had the appeal of the Garland items from auction 1.
PRESENTING LILY MARS
Judy Garland “Lily Mars” ivory and black dress designed by Howard Shoup from Presenting Lily Mars, 1943. SOLD
$3,000. Ivory top and black iridescent skirt accented with colorful knit embroidery on sleeves and lace trim. Also includes lace headpiece. No label. Exhibits minor soiling on front and small material loss on left shoulder. Designed by Howard Shoup. Worn by Judy Garland as “Lily Mars” in the final scene of the play in Presenting Lily Mars.
THE HARVEY GIRLS
None of the "Harvey Girl" items were actually worn by Judy, but rather her costars. Thus the low final bids.
John Hodiak “Ned Trent” cream and brown vest from The Harvey Girls, 1946. SOLD FOR $375. Cream and brown wool six button vest. MGM label handwritten “JOHN HODIAK 1348-9338”. Worn by John Hodiak as “Ned Trent” in several scenes in The Harvey Girls.
Marjorie Main “Sonora Cassidy” teal damask period dress designed by Helen Rose from The Harvey Girls. SOLD FOR $750 (estimated $400-600). Teal damask period dress with ivory chiffon overlay and lace collar and cuffs. Handwritten label “1348-9501 Marjorie Main”. Chiffon patched on one sleeve and removed completely from skirt. Exhibits soiling on bottom of skirt. Designed by Helen Rose. Worn by Marjorie Main as “Sonora Cassidy” at Judy Garland and John Hodiak’s wedding in The Harvey Girls.
Although hailed as a classic ahead of its time, "The Pirate" was one of the few MGM Garland musicals that floundered at the box office.
Gene Kelly “Serafin” brown wool pants designed by Tom Keogh from The Pirate, 1948. SOLD FOR $1,200. Pair of brown open weave wool pants. Western costume label handwritten “GENE KELLY 1400-3637 W29 L30 / CHANGE 1A 2 EX”. Worn by Gene Kelly as “Serafin” during the Nina musical number in The Pirate.
Gladys Cooper “Aunt Inez” black and purple period dress designed by Tom Keogh from The Pirate. SOLD FOR $1,000. Purple satin period dress with black lace overlay, heavily beaded on bodice with large rosettes on skirt. Handwritten label “GLADYS COOPER #3”. Lace is missing in areas and part of trim is detached. Designed by Tom Keogh. Worn by Gladys Cooper as “Aunt Inez” as she and Garland arrive at the hotel in The Pirate.
Gladys Cooper dark red and black period dress and hat designed by Tom Keogh from The Pirate. SOLD FOR $1,700. Dark red velvet period dress with intricate black lace overlay accented with black trim and tassels. Handwritten label “GLADYS COOPER #5”. Designed by Tom Keogh. Worn by Gladys Cooper as “Aunt Inez” on Judy’s wedding day in The Pirate.
Judy Garland “Manuela” ivory satin wedding dress designed by Tom Keogh from The Pirate. SOLD FOR $22,500 (estimate was $4-6k). Ivory satin wedding dress with puff sleeves and accented with lace and faux pearls. Handwritten label “1400 Judy Garland”. Designed by Tom Keogh. Worn by Judy Garland as “Manuela” on her wedding day in The Pirate.
O. Z. Whitehead “Hurtada” blue jacket and pants designed by Tom Keogh from The Pirate. SOLD FOR $700. Blue wool open weave jacket with faux fur collar and pants accented with large ivory pompoms. MGM label handwritten “O. Z. WHITEHEAD 1400-4040 / EX.3 CHG 4 / 28 35”. Both pieces exhibit small holes. Designed by Tom Keogh. Worn by O. Z. Whitehead as “Hurtada” during Kelly’s magic act in The Pirate.
WORDS AND MUSIC
A classic all-star vehicle, this MGM musical had a boring plot, but top-notch musical numbers. One of the highlights was a musical number with Gene Kelly & Vera Ellen set to the music "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue."
Vera-Ellen “herself” yellow and orange dance costume designed by Helen Rose from Words and Music, 1948. SOLD FOR $1,600. Yellow wool top with horizontal orange strips. No label. Salmon skirt with self covered buttons. Typed label “1427-5317 V. ELLEN”. Both pieces have MGM cleaning tags. Zipper is detached two inches on back of top. Both exhibit fading of fabric. Designed by Helen Rose. Worn by Vera-Ellen as “herself” in the dance number Slaughter on 10th Avenue with Gene Kelly in Words and Music.
BARKLEYS OF BROADWAY
Originally set to be a retiming of Judy Garland & Fred Astaire, "The Barkleys of Broadway" got off to a bad start. A worn out Judy Garland just couldn't summon the strength to consistently make it to the filming of this MGM musical. Instead, Ginger Rogers ended up replacing her. Only a handful of costume tests and on-set photos survive from Judy's time on the project.
Judy Garland suit designed by Irene made for The Barkleys of Broadway, 1949. SOLD FOR $2,750. Sienna wool two piece suit with orange accents and self covered buttons. Typed label “1433-5334 J? GARLAND” and MGM cleaning tag. Both pieces exhibit a few minor holes. Designed by Irene. Made for Judy Garland for The Barkleys of Broadway but Ginger Rogers’ played the role instead.
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