James Tumblin Collection of <i>Gone With the Wind</i> Costumes, Art and Props Go to Auction
DALLAS—Vivien Leigh’s iconic dress worn in her Academy-Award-winning role as Scarlett O'Hara may sell for $100,000+ 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 an 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 (est. $30,000+).
· Leslie Howard’s Confederate Soldier Uniform worn as Ashley Wilkes in the moving scene where he finds his way back to Tara Plantation (est. $30,000+).
· Leigh’s period blouse worn in the he climactic "As God as my witness" scene (est. $20,000+).
· Bonnie Blue Butler's Riding Dress worn by child actress Cammie King (est. $20,000+).
The Tumblin collection also includes Hattie McDaniel’s cherished presentation script signed by famed producer David O. Selznick (est. $20,000+). McDaniel is best known for being the first African American to win an Academy Award for her role as “Mammy” in the film.
Rare, behind-the-scenes mementos crucial to the film’s lasting cinematography include pre-production artworks of key camera angles, including "Ashley Wilkes" and "Scarlett O'Hara" standing by a tree (est. $10,000+); reading of the Confederate dead and wounded scene (est. $10,000+); and an intense image of Atlanta burning (est. $10,000+).
To learn more about Heritage Auctions’ presentation of the James Tumblin Collection please visit:
LINK TO VIDEO: The James Tumblin "Gone With the Wind" Collection
LINK TO CATALOG: The James Tumblin Collection at Heritage Auctions
Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $900 million, and 900,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.