By now, you've probably heard about the record breaking prices set at Saturday's auction of Debbie Reynold's Hollywood costume and prop collection. Reynolds started the collection in 1970 when she hand picked and purchased a large selection of items that MGM had sold to an auctioneer. She continued to collect and receive donations for decades. For years, she sought to to find a museum for the collection and she came close 7 times, but each venture ended in failure. Reynolds was left with the bills for architects, designers, contractors and materials. As the creditors started to close in, she was forced to admit defeat and came to the heart-wrenching decision to sell the collection.
As Reynolds said of the Hollywood studios that didn't care, "It's not so much that I had vision, it's that they had none." It is sad to find that many of the most iconic pieces from the auction are now headed to Japan and Saudi Arabia. An important part of America's movie history will no longer reside here. Following, a look at some of the highlights of the auction. Keep in mind that ending bids shown do not include the 23% buyer's premium or California state taxes.
Judy Garland's blue dress worn during the first 2 weeks of filming The Wizard of Oz sold for $910,000 to a buyer representing Saudi Arabian oil money.
Charlton Heston's tunic and cape from Ben-Hur sold for $320,000.
Elizabeth Taylor's ceremonial headress from 1963's Cleopatra sold for $100,000.
The second highest ending auction price, Audrey Hepburn's Royal Ascot dress and hat from My Fair Lady sold for $3.7 million.
It's hard to believe, but there will be two more auctions of Debbie Reynold's massive collection, one in December 2011 and the other in spring, 1012.