Wonderful Wizard of Oz memorabilia

A renowned collector has been featured in the news today: Adele Morris, owner of Britain's largest collection of Wizard of Oz memorabilia.

This year marks the 70th birthday of the classic MGM film, which, amazingly, was not a commercial success upon its initial release in 1939.

Following years of televised screenings and its wildly popular songs, including Over the Rainbow, the Wizard of Oz is today regarded as one of the most loved films ever made.

An original film poster for the Wizard of Oz
An original film poster for 1939's the Wizard of Oz

Morris has reportedly spent more than £40,000 on her collection, which includes everything from framed prints, to biscuit jars and a pair of ruby slippers.

But this is no mere obsessive haul: an original pair of ruby slippers can bring more than £400,000 at auction.

The collection is worth far more than Morris spent on it, and will continue to appreciate.

Even 'lesser' items, like Wizard of Oz film posters, can leave the auction block at £3,000.

In her interview with the UK's Times newspaper, Morris gives a fascinating insight into the factors which can affect the value of memorabilia.

For instance, on a signed picture of Meinhardt Raabe, the Munchkin coroner who pronounces the Wicked Witch of the East dead in the film: "That's not worth a lot because he's still alive," she says.

 "He's signed so much stuff. If you put your hand out to shake his, he'd probably sign that too."

Unsurprisingly, Morris's home is filled with display cases featuring all sorts, including 1950s Oz playing cards, hand-crafted metal figurines and - most iconic of all - a pair of ruby slippers from the original MGM costume department plans.

Twice as many items can be found stored in Morris's cellar, the Times reports.

For Morris, the attachment to her memorabilia is very personal. While working as a model in the 1950s, she met the film's star Judy Garland on a few occasions, and mixed in the same social circles.

She also has a theory on why the Wizard of Oz is so loved today, and why she is motivated to collect: "The film, you see, has never aged. It's moralistic. It's sentimental. It's joyous," she tells the Times.

"It always cheers me up. It's a sort of obsession, collecting, but it gives me a lift. If I almost have a set of dolls and find the missing one, it's a thrill to know I've got the whole set."


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