In 1939, sixteen-year-old Judy Garland donned a pair of Ruby Red Slippers and danced her way into moviegoers’ hearts in The Wizard of Oz. A pair of the iconic ruby red slippers from movie clasic is going up for auction with an estimated price of $2 – $3 million. California auction house Profiles in History said the slippers, one of four known surviving pairs made for the 1939 movie, are believed to have been worn by Judy Garland’s Dorothy when she clicks her heels to return home to Kansas near the end of the film.
The slippers will be auctioned on December 16 in Los Angeles as part of a Hollywood memorabilia sale. Profiles in History owner Joe Maddalena said he was expecting bids from around the world. This is the most important film prop in the world. There is nothing more famous, said Maddalena.
In addition to once being on display at the Smithsonian, this particular pair of ruby slippers used in the film has some one-of-a-kind touches. The inside lining reads #7 Judy Garland and the leather soles are painted red on the bottom. They are described as in mint condition but with light scuffs on the soles.
In the children’s novel by L. Frank Baum, on which the film was based, Dorothy’s magical shoes were silver. The idea to change them to ruby red came from Noel Langley, one of the film’s screenwriters—probably because the color would stand out better against a yellow brick road. Legendary Hollywood costumer Adrian designed the slippers—which owe their glitter to burgundy sequins.
After filming, the shoes went into storage, where they were forgotten amid the studio’s extensive collection of costumes. In 1970 a pair found in the basement of MGM’s wardrobe department were sold at auction for $15,000 to a still-anonymous buyer, who donated them to the Smithsonian in 1979. Four other pairs are known to exist: one commanded $666,000 on the auction block in 2000.
A pair of red test slippers for The Wizard of Oz from the vast Hollywood collection of actress Debbie Reynolds sold for $612,000, whil Judy Garland’s Dorothy test dress was sold for $1,119,000.