Scarlett O'Hara's dress up for auction

Collection of Gone with the Wind Memorabilia

The dress worn by Vivien Leigh.

A dress worn by Vivien Leigh in her Oscar-winning role as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind is up for auction next month.

The blue-and-grey dress, which Leigh wore in four scenes of the cinema classic, is expected to sell for as much as $100,000. And it's just one of more than 150 lots to go on the block on April 18th at Heritage Auctions in the US.

The items form part of the collection of Jim Tumblin, formerly in charge of the hair and makeup department at Universal Studios.

He began collecting screen-used costumes, props, and behind-the-scene rarities associated with Gone with the Wind in the early 1960s.

"When it comes to Gone with the Wind memorabilia, no one is more respected and recognised than Jim Tumblin," says Kathleen Guzman, managing director of Heritage Auctions.

"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 calibre come to market, and these pieces represent an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collect these incredible treasures."

It was while visiting the Western Costume Company that Tumblin saw what turned out to be a dress Vivien Leigh wore as Scarlett O'Hara lying on the floor.

When told it was being thrown away, Tumblin bought it for $20.

"I started getting inter-office memos and phone calls, 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," says Tumblin.

His collection now has more than 300,000 items from the movie and has been exhibited across the country.

Other items going up on the block next month include the suit worn by Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in the scene where he kicks down Scarlett's door, estimated to sell for over $30,000. There's also the Confederate soldier uniform worn by Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes and Bonnie Blue Butler's riding dress, worn by child actress Cammie King.

Other items include a series of watercolour paintings used to help camera operators, costume makers, set designers and prop teams plan scenes. They include the burning of Atlanta, Scarlett and Rhett Butler fleeing the Unionist army and Scarlett at the family plantation, Tara.

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