DALLAS – Vivien Leigh’s iconic dress worn in her Academy-Award-winning role as
Scarlett O’Hara may sell for $100,000 or more as the James Tumblin Collection of screen-used costumes, props and behind-the-scene rarities from MGM’s 1939 classic “Gone With the Wind” crosses the block April 18 at Heritage Auctions in Beverly Hills. More than 150 lots of one-of-a-kind Hollywood studio pieces of the film – direct from the finest collection known to exist – offers fans a never-before-seen look at the classic film’s enduring legacy.
“When it comes to ‘Gone with the Wind’ memorabilia, no one is more respected and recognized than Jim Tumblin,” says Kathleen Guzman, managing director of Heritage Auctions in New York. “He has devoted his life and efforts to promoting Hollywood and this film, touring his items throughout the United States. Very rarely does memorabilia of this caliber come to market, and these pieces represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collect these incredible treasures.”
Tumblin, formerly in charge of the hair and makeup department at Universal Studios, began collecting screen-used costumes, props and behind-the-scene rarities associated with the Academy Award-winning film “Gone with the Wind” in the early 1960s. It was on a visit to the Western Costume Company when he saw on the floor what turned out to be a dress Vivien Leigh wore as Scarlett O’Hara. He was told it was being thrown away. After some negotiating and checking with a company manager, Tumblin paid $20, and the dress was his.
“I started getting inter-office memos and phone calls,” Tumblin recalls, “and my secretary would get messages saying, ‘Well, my aunt worked on that film. Would you be interested in this?’ or ‘My grandfather worked on this film. What about this?’ And that’s how it started.”
Decades later, his collection now has more than 300,000 artifacts from the movie and has been exhibited across the country.
In addition to Leigh’s remarkable period dress worn in four pivotal scenes in the film, the collection includes Clark Gable’s period gray suit worn as Rhett Butler in the scene where he kicks down “Scarlett’s” door ($30,000) and Leslie Howard’s Confederate Soldier Uniform worn by Ashley Wilkes in the moving scene where he finds his way back to Tara Plantation ($30,000).
To learn more about Heritage Auctions’ presentation of the James Tumblin Collection, visit www.ha.com.