Published: December 27, 2022
DALLAS — An iconic prop at the center of the plot twist of one of the most popular movies of all time led Heritage Auctions’ Hollywood & Entertainment Signature Auction on December 17, when it sold to an existing client and private collector for $495,000, from an opening bid of $400,000. One of several versions made for The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939), the example was the one used by Margaret Hamilton in her villainous portrayal of the Wicked Witch of the West to show Dorothy how little time she has left to live. A few movie minutes later, Dorothy’s rescuers: the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow had arrived at the castle where Dorothy had been imprisoned and, in their attempt to get away, Dorothy had melted the witch with water meant to douse the burning Scarecrow.
MGM recycled the Gothic-style wood and papier mache hourglass in other productions, notably Babes on Broadway (1941), Diane (1956), and 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964). It was also included in three museum exhibitions: Los Angeles Public Library’s Getty Gallery (2000); Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine (2014), and Figge Art Museum, Davenport, Iowa (2016).
It was the top lot in a sale that achieved $7,924,188; a more extensive sale recap will appear in a future issue.
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