LOS ANGELES -- A pair of the ruby slippers worn on-screen by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" is scheduled to hit the auction block Dec. 16.
Although "Oz" ruby slippers have come up for auction in the past -- most recently a screen-test pair that fetched $612,000 at a June auction, according to Profiles in History, the auction house in charge of both auctions -- this is one of only four pairs of screen-used ruby slippers known to have survived since the making of the 1939 film. One pair is at the Smithsonian, one is in private hands and a third pair was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn.
According to the auction house, the shoes are in near mint condition. They are marked "7 Judy Garland" on the inside lining, and the leather soles are painted red. Light, circular scuffs on the soles are apparently evidence that these were the same shoes Garland was wearing in the close-up shots in which she memorably tapped her heels together to return to Kansas. (They're also believed to be the same pair on the witch feet sticking out from under Dorothy's house earlier in the movie.)
Profiles in History's pre-sale estimate for the slippers is in the $2 million to $3 million range. A company representative declined to reveal the identity of the slippers' current owner, discuss any of the other pieces in the Dec. 15 to 17 movie memorabilia auction or even say where it will take place, saying only that additional details will be released in upcoming weeks.
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