'Oz' Cowardly Lion costume realises growth of 21% pa

Bert Lahr's Cowardly Lion costume from The Wizard of Oz sold for $3m in Bonhams' TCM sale in New York on November 24.

This figure equates to growth of 20.6% pa on the $826,000 it made in 2006.

Bonhams Lion Oz
The famed Adrian Gilbert, better known simply as "Adrian", designed the iconic costume

MGM designer Adrian Gilbert was responsible for the iconic look of the suit, which is made from genuine African lion pelts. Despite rudimentary ventilation the heat under the studio lights was intense.

Lahr was a vaudeville star who failed to become a big name of the silver screen, despite The Wizard of Oz' success. He would quip some time later: "After The Wizard Of Oz I was typecast as a lion, and there aren't all that many parts for lions."

One of its previous owners went on to add a waxwork cast of Lahr's son Herbert, who is said to bear a striking resemblance.

Herbert commented in a TV interview with TLC: "The Lion's suit was very interesting. It was a real lion skin, and it weighed 60 lbs. My dad had to be in it all day, he couldn't eat because of the way the mask was, so he had to eat his lunch through a straw."

We have this incredible signed photograph of Judy Garland available.

The piano from Casablanca made $3.4m in the same sale.

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