An iconic prop from the cinematic classic The Wizard of Oz is now up for auction. The Tin Man's oil can is currently up for bit at GWS Auctions. The oil can, currently on exhibit at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, has a current (as the time of this article's writing) bid of $50,000 with bids requested in $5000 increments. The can is one of the three or five oil cans used in the film and was presented to Tin Man actor Jack Haley after the film wrapped. The oil can is currently on loan to the museum and will remain on loan through November of this year, though the new owner will have the option to extend the loan agreement after the initial loan period is satisfied.
Fans of The Wizard of Oz are no strangers to how significant the oil can is to the film. In the film, Dorothy (Judy Garland) uses the oil can to give the Tin Man the critical oil he needs in order to be free from where he had been rusted into place before launching into the song "If I Only Had a Heart". The oil can has some additional significance in terms of film history as it is also believed to be the last existing piece of the Tin Man's general costume as the rest of the iconic costume is said to have been lost. Additionally, items from the 1939 are rare finds. That rarity is, in part, what makes the oil can such a significant auction item. The listing even notes that the piece "has excellent investment potential, as items from or made for this legendary film almost never surface". The oil can is expected to go for around $200,000. You can check out the listing for the oil can here.
While props and items from The Wizard of Oz are rare finds, however, they do still occasionally surface. Last summer, one of the blue gingham dresses worn by Garland's Dorothy in the beloved film surfaced after being missing for decades. The iconic garment had been given to Catholic University and its former drama department head, Father Gilbert Hartke in the 1970s. However, the dress went missing a year after its arrival and wasn't located until June 2021 when a staff member found the dress stored in a shoebox inside a trash bag sitting on top of the faculty mailboxes. That dress, one of five others that have been found and authenticated, is expected to be housed at the university's special collections department.
Released in 1939, the MGM-produced musical fantasy film is widely considered one of the most significant films in movie history and one of the greatest films of all time. An adaptation of L. Frank Baum's children's fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the film was directed by Victor Fleming and stars Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, and Margaret Hamilton.
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