A Glinda The Good Witch Test Wand From The Wizard Of Oz To Be Offered At Bonhams

Los Angeles – A Glinda the Good Witch test wand from The Wizard of Oz highlights Bonhams' sale, TCM Presents ... 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year, on December 10. Recently on exhibition at a major American institution, this is the only known wand in existence, the two known screen-used wands having been destroyed in a 1970s fire. Estimate is on request.

Dr. Catherine Williamson, Director of Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams, said: "We are so excited to offer such an iconic prop from one of the greatest films in cinema history. The wand did not make it into the film, but it did appear in a portrait photo of Billie Burke in her famous costume. This is a wonderful opportunity for collectors to own a rare piece of Hollywood memorabilia."

When filming began on The Wizard of Oz in 1938, it quickly became apparent that creative license with L. Frank Baum's novel would need to take place in order to accommodate the glorious Technicolor in which the film would be shot. Hence, Dorothy's silver shoes from Baum's book changed to a pair of sparkling ruby red sequined pumps. A similar but lesser known story relates to the magical wand held by the Good Witch, Glinda, played by Billie Burke. Initially, a Gilbert Adrian-designed wand of clear rhinestones was created but ultimately appeared bland on film. It was replaced with a wand which contained scattered colorful stones which sparkled on screen and was more in keeping with the vibrant Land of Oz (at least two of these wands were known to exist).

Like the ruby slippers, the multiple wands met with interesting fates. The silver wand offered here was likely used in wardrobe test shots of Billie Burke, but the only known existing photo is one that Burke had specially made by MGM photographer Clarence Sinclair Bull after filming of The Wizard of Oz was completed. Proud of the success of the film and her role as the Good Witch, she incorporated a sketch of the photo into holiday cards which she sent to friends and family. The silver wand was then returned to MGM's storage, where it rested until it was eventually sold through the 1970 MGM property auctions to a buyer who owned it for 47 years and who ultimately sold it to the present consignor.


NOTES FOR EDITORS

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewelry. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com.

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