Debbie Reynolds 6/18 auction includes costumes & skates from Sonja Henie

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by operagirl, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. operagirl

    operagirl Active Member

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    I went to the preview of Debbie Reynolds' auction on Sunday. Her collection is magnificent - Marilyn Monroe's white halter dress from The Seven Year Itch, ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz - All being auctioned on June 18th. Two of Sonja Henie's show costumes and a pair of skates are also offered.

    You can bid online, although it may be delayed after live bidding starts.

    http://www.icollector.com/Two-skati...by-Sonja-Henie-in-her-skating-shows_i10658053
     
  2. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I was looking at that the other day. Such a wonderful collection -- it's a shame it can't be kept together. I know she tried for years and years to find or build a museum for it.
     
  3. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    A People Magazine article article about the auction said she still works 42 weeks out of the year giving concerts in part to pay the storage costs of all these items. At her age, that's :eek:. Selling it would really help her financially.
     
  4. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    Wow, only $800 for the Sonia Henie stuff? INteresting. But the Valentino item has a $60,000 estimate.
     
  5. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    I wonder why she doesn't just donate them to the Smithsonians, for example, or does she need the money? There's no Hollywood museum in Hollywood ?
     
  6. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    She needs the money. As for a Hollywood museum, she tried to start one and I think others have too. It is surprising there isn't one (that I know of).
     
  7. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Those dresses are really beautiful, and I love the high skating boots and the design on the top.
     
  8. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    Know what's wierd?

    The cream/white dress being auctioned off as Sonja Henie's looks an awful lot like the dress Carol Heiss wore in "Snow White and the Three Stooges."
    The fur accent caught my eye in some photos.

    Henie's Dress from the auction:
    http://www.icollector.com/images/1202/20092/20092_0226_1_lg.jpg

    Heiss' Dress from the movie:
    http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/carol_heiss_snow_white.jpg
    Bigger photos:
    http://www.kiddiematinee.com/s-sw3s.html
    (scroll down to the autographed photos at the bottom of the page.)

    The skirts are both pleated, and the bodice is covered with sequins and seed beads. While Henie was known for short skirts, that looks a little too short for her time.

    Either the Snow White wardrobe department copied Henie's dress, Heiss wore Henie's dress, or there's a mistake in the Auction catalog.

    Things that make me go hmmmm....
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  9. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

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    I believe parts of the collection are being displayed in LA somewhere. That could be completely wrong, but I could have sworn that I saw an ad for the display somewhere while I was driving...

    Either way, it's a shame she has to sell all of this stuff, but I hope she gets the money she needs.

    I believe there is a small "Hollywood Museum," but it's nowhere near this magnitude or this type of display. It's a shame; we could so use one on Hollywood Blvd. This would even be incredibly interesting for the Resnick Pavilion at LACMA.
     
  10. operagirl

    operagirl Active Member

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    It absolutely looks like the dress - and I saw it up close. The dress is cream and the stones are multi-colored and in many sizes and shapes. Sonja's movies were primarily filmed at 20th Century Fox, which also produced Snow White & The Three Stooges, so it's possible they both wore the dress. The studio costume departments were constantly recycling wardrobe.

    The auction previews are at the Paley Center, 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. About 400 items are on display. It's free - June 15-17 - Hours 12:00-5:00 p.m.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  11. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    Awww, I guess the micro-crown with the fur is missing. That's too bad. Someone probably put it in a hat box for storage and it's lost now.


    The auction item's location says it's on display at the Paley Center.

    Auction Location:
    465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, California, 90210, United States

    Previewing Details:
    Public previews at the Paley Center for Media, 465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Dates are June 4-5, 8-12 and 15-17. Hours are 12pm to 5pm.

    I sent the auction house an email asking if they had authenticated the cream-colored dress. Now I wonder about the the other items. The gold dress/cape with the red stars just doesn't say "Sonja Henie" to me. It looks too modern.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  12. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    I can't find a picture of Henie in the cream-colored dress from any of her movies or skating shows. I even checked my copy of her biography and nada. I thought it was odd that the photo shown on the auction page isn't of her in either of the dresses (or the skates) that are up for bid. Very strange.

    The gold dress just looks too "american" and modern to have been Henie's, but the cape definitely dates it to the 1960's or earlier, imo.
     
  13. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

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    I KNEW I saw this while I was driving around somewhere! The Paley Center is a media museum in Beverly Hills.
     
  14. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    It wouldn't be unusual for a costume to be "re-used".
    Many iconic costumes from the best-known movies have been "found" in storage, also.

    I would have thought that Sonia would have purchased the costumes from her films, though.

    Would it be possible to ask Carol Heiss about her costume from "Snow White..."?
     
  15. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    The auction site says the costumes are from her shows (it doesn't say movies), so I'm not sure how the costumes could have been passed on to another skater in a 20th Century Fox movie unless they underwrote the costuming for the skating shows?

    That does explain the unusual gold/red starred dress with cape. She liked the designs from Bill Travilla of Jack's of Hollywood and had them create costumes for her skating shows that pre-dated her movies. I wouldn't expect to see photos of every costume she wore for every skating show. The movies are different story thanks to YouTube.

    http://www.travillatour.com/The-man-himself(849737).htm


    ETA: Ah, here's a circa-1938 connection between Hollywood and Henie's touring show:
    http://www.sonjahenie.net/meet4.htm

     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  16. operagirl

    operagirl Active Member

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    In person the gold dress is quite obviously older than the cream. It was shown under glass. The dress looked too fragile to display upright as the majority of costumes were.
     
  17. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

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    Since I'm in LA anyway and this seems like a really cool collection, I'm going to go check it out. I'll post an update when I do.
     
  18. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    I wish I could go - I've always wanted to go to the Paley Center. Their annual "Paleyfest" is supposed to be awesome.

    I wonder if there are notes or docents to clarify the dresses/skates origin and how Ms. Reynolds acquired them? It could be a good story.
     
  19. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  20. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    Yeah, I said that, too.
    However, her MOVIE dresses weren't as short as her show dresses, either. Those stills and videos are easier to find.
    The cream colored dress in question doesn't have panties, so it appears to be really, really short, even for Henie.
    However, when you see it on Heiss, it's not *that* short. The skirt edges are frayed, so it may have been trimmed.

    I really want to see a photo of the cream-colored dress on Henie. I'm amazed that they could both wear the same size dress. Heiss looks much taller.


    UPDATE: I found the gold dress with the red stars on Henie:

    http://www.squidoo.com/sonja-henie
    http://i3.squidoocdn.com/resize/squ...807801photo_1292789783sonja-henie-feather.jpg

    It had a headdress too. Did the Paley center display show the headpieces, operagirl?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  21. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

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    Figure Spins, the video on one of your links----her skating speed and the speed of her spins makes today's skaters look like they are skating on molasses!!! lol
     
  22. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    Sonja Henie's skating or Carol Heiss'?

    I think Heiss could have held her own today, but Henie might have been outskated by some of today's competitors. (Maybe even out-acted!)
     
  23. operagirl

    operagirl Active Member

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  24. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    Too bad about the missing headpieces. The bidder would have been much higher if the auction included the full costume.

    That "squidoo" site was fascinating - lots of great photos. I just stumbled across it in an internet search.

    I also found that Sonja's dresses go up for auction regularly, and for big bucks: over $1k for dress, headpiece, and skates.
    http://www.julienslive.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/6/lot/1420/

    http://www.julienslive.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/6/lot/1421/
    (This one looks a bit bogus: cowboy boots? Really?)

    http://www.julienslive.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/6/lot/1422/

    http://www.julienslive.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/6/lot/1423/

    Not an costume photo but I like the image on this page:
    http://www.factmonster.com/spot/winter-olympics-henie.html
    Sonja skating hand-in-hand with Dick Button - cute!

    I think I'd rather have her Packard:

    http://www.rmauctions.com/PressRelease.cfm?PressID=487

    It sold for over $138,000 back in 2005.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  25. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    I don't find $1000 "big buck" when you're getting three things out of it. Sonia's stuff isn't worth much in the grand scheme of Hollywood.
     
  26. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    It would cost much more to replicate them, today.
     
  27. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    Especially the furred and feathered creations, right?

    Yes, but the current auction has an opening bid of $800 for two dresses (without headpiece) and a pair of CCM skates. By comparison, the completed auctions for a single dress, headpiece and skates are more pricey. In comparison to buying Judy Garland's pinafore from "The Wizard of Oz," there's no comparison. In a very small niche, $800 for the current auction is a bargain. I really am curious to see what the winning bid will be, although I still question the cream-colored dress' authenticity.

    I don't think Sonja's contributions to Hollywood were insignificant. There were several copycats and her business acumen inspired other ventures, such as Esther Williams' swimming shows and movies. Esther gives Sonja a lot of credit (and a bit of cheek) in her autobiography.

    More importantly, Sonja brought figure skating to the masses. She didn't expect to be nominated for acting awards, but she reached her goal of becoming a Star! She had a great impact on many people. Her biography makes it seem like they didn't like her in Hollywood, though, so you're right about that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  28. wouldacoulda

    wouldacoulda Active Member

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    Trying to keep myself from bidding on a Henie dress...got to pay the mortgage...must have dress...got to pay the mortgage...
     
  29. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    Be strong - pay the mortgage!

    Get a picture of the dress and order a replica of the dress from the Chinese eBay sellers for $35.
    (They'd probably throw in a headpiece and boot covers, too, for a little extra.)

    Or get a print of Sonja in the complete getup and have it framed for your wall. Voila! No cold storage fees.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  30. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    A lot of the numbers Sonja skated in her films were the same ones she was skating in her ice show, so I doubt that the studio owned the costumes she wore in the films.