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Items from MGM movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’ go up for auction


Items from MGM movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’ go up for auction

Lion Heart Autographs is currently offering an extraordinary opportunity to own items from one of the most famous movies in Hollywood history – MGM’s The Wizard of Oz.

So extraordinary are the items being offered – including two original studio printed music scores used in the film’s production – that one could find one’s self magically transported back to the “Yellow Brick Road,” holding the memorable lyrics and music of Ray Bolger’s personally-owned copies of “If I Only Had a Brain,” (Estimate: $7,000-$8,000) and “Over the Rainbow,” (Estimate: $12,000 – $15,000).

Ray Bolger’s portrayal of the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz remains hugely popular with fans of the movie and along with the rest of the cast – including the legendary Judy Garland – remain part of popular culture.

David Lowenherz, Founder & Owner, Lion Heart Autographs:

“To our knowledge, and after consulting libraries, scholars and dealers, we have not discovered any printed musical scores in private collections like these that were created during the film’s production. The fact that the scores and personally worn items were once owned by Ray Bolger makes them even more compelling. After all, Bolger starred in one of the world’s most memorable motion pictures whose story and music have had an enormous cultural influence – from Judy Garland’s innumerable performances of “Over the Rainbow” and Elton John’s Pop hit “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” to the Broadway shows “The Wiz” and “Wicked.” This is, quite literally, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire objects that magically resonate with the spirit of Hollywood’s “Golden Age.” We are honored to have been selected to represent Ray Bolger’s niece in the auction of these precious relics from the past.”

Millions of people instantly recognize the melody of these famous songs, “Over the Rainbow” and “If I Only Had a Brain,” and The Wizard of Oz, a timeless classic for generations, has delighted audiences worldwide. The public’s sentimental attachment to Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion has never vanished from the American psyche. The movie is a cinematic touchstone of classic storytelling.

The Ray Bolger items have been placed up for auction by the performer’s niece. Making the printed musical scores especially valuable is the fact that in 1969, MGM’s enormous music library was dumped and used as landfill in LA’s Sepulveda Pass, making the opportunity to find original material from the The Wizard of Oz nearly impossible. Similar items to the scores being offered at auction can only be found in a handful of libraries and institutions, notably the US Library of Congress – which does not own copies of these versions of the songs – Yale, and the Warner Bros. Corporate Archives. Copies in private collections are unknown.

In addition to the two printed musical scores are a pair of Ray Bolger’s personally used blue tap shoes (Estimate: $500 – $1000); a 14K white gold and diamond Gruen wristwatch inscribed to Ray Bolger on the back of the watch case from the Las Vegas Sahara Hotel on its opening day in 1952 when Bolger headlined the opening act (Estimate: $3,000 – $4,000) and two neckties worn by the fashion-conscious Bolger (Estimate: $250 – $350).

Ray Bolger, a vaudevillian, actor and comedian, went on to star in other films, after visiting Oz, including Disney’s “Babes in Toyland,” as well as “The Great Ziegfeld,” and enjoyed a successful career on Broadway. Ray was born in 1904 and died in 1987. The auction runs for a further two weeks.

The Wizard Of Oz is currently a theatre musical which has run at the London Palladium as well as a UK wide tour.

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