From the yellow brick road to a Roman empire, the Treasures from the Dream Factory movie auction has plenty of items sure to appeal to collectors and film buffs alike. Bonhams auction house and US cable TV network Turner Classic Movies (TCM) have assembled 400 lots for its annual sale that includes costumes, scripts, awards, movie posters and props.
"To me it's one of the most democratic, this collecting discipline, because it really does appeal to everybody. Everybody can find something that means something to them in this room," said Catherine Williamson, director of entertainment memorabilia at Bonhams.
The top lot is a Dorothy dress worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, which is expected to sell for between $800,000 and $1.2m (£520,000-£790,000).
"We think of this as such a classic simple look but it actually took several iterations to get to this point," Williamson said. "So most of those test dresses from the two weeks that were scrapped and then the examples to get to this point have turned up in the market place. And that's why you think, 'oh, I think this dress came up recently.' So you're really thinking of those test dresses. The screen-used dress, the screen-used gingham print pinafore, is actually quite rare. We know of two examples, this is one of them."
Costumes worn by Marilyn Monroe in River of No Return and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes are estimated at $300,000-$500,000. Steve McQueen's racing suit from Le Mans is valued at $200,000-$300,000, and a golden ticket from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is expected to bring in $10,000-$15,000.
A major part of the sale will be several lots from the film Ben-Hur. "In 1970, MGM decided to liquidate all of its costumes and props and a collector from the Midwest who had an Italian restaurant wanted to decorate it with gladiator-themed material," Williamson said. "So he went to the auction and he bought all of this terrific material. And it's been in the family from that point to the present."
The auction will be held in New York on 23 November.