The world of collecting is vast and spans many different disciplines. People collect just about everything from, dolls and toy trains to more unusual things such as toasters, staplers, and sometimes even traffic cones. But, one of the oldest traditions is buying pieces from our favourite movies, television shows, and actors. Film memorabilia has been trading hands for decades all starting with the studio’s need for cash and creating auctions from their studio lots to sell off old pieces of sets and costumes. One of the more famous auctions was in 1970 when MGM needed to raise some money and held an auction where some of the most iconic pieces were sold. Thins such as the Cowardly Lion costume from The Wizard of Oz, the time machine from the 1960 movie, and even Johnny Weissmuller’s Tarzan loincloth. The whole sale consisted of seven sound stages and raised $1.5 million for MGM.
From the humble beginnings in Hollywood stages, the film auctions have really taken off. There are now specific auctions dedicated to film memorabilia. Bonhams holds an Entertainment Memorabilia Auction as well as Christie’s with their Vintage Film Posters and Film Memorabilia Sales.
With the introduction of the Internet, there has been a wide increase with selling objects such as these through eBay and other auction sites. There has also been an increase in social networking like MoPo, that has created a central place for people to stay connected to events and important sales coming up throughout not only the States but also globally.
One such event is the sae of Debbie Reynolds’ collection throughout the year of 2011. Some items will include, Marilyn Monroe’s ‘subway dress’ from The Seven Year Itch, a Charlie Chaplin bowler hat, Vivien Leigh’s Gone with the Wind dress made from drapes, The Wizard of Oz ruby slippers, Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress and hat from My Fair Lady and finally Charlton Heston’s tunic, and accessories from Ben-Hur. The sales will take place from June to December 2011 in California at Profiles in History.