(Image: Source Unknown)

Unlike all other known pairs of ruby slippers, the shoes today known as ‘Dorothy’s Shoes’ where never handled by costumer Kent Warner. Instead, they were “the first pair of ruby slippers to leave [the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer] wardrobe department […] in 1939 when they were sent to New York for publicity purposes” (Thomas, 219). There, the size 6B shoes “probably [helped dress] a life-size Dorothy [d]oll, together with effigies” of her companions, “as part of an MGM exhibition [promoting the studio’s various films]” (219).

Following their promotional use, the slippers were awarded as a second place prize in a National Four Star Club “Name the Ten Best Movies of 1939″ contest. Roberta Jefferies Bauman of Memphis, Tennessee, a 16-year-old high school junior at the time, “placed second in the contest and won the slippers” (219). According to Rhys Thomas, Bauman received the shoes on Tuesday 24 February 1940 (219). Unthinkably, given their value today, “they were sent to Memphis, and presented to Miss Jefferies in a plain shoe box” (219).

Physically, like the other pairs, “the spool French heeled slippers are of red silk faille, covered with the hand-sequined georgette and lined in white kid leather. Inside the right shoe is sewn a cloth label reading Innes Shoe Co., Los Angeles, Hollywood, Pasadena” (Thomas, 219). These are the only ruby slippers to bear a cloth label; the other pairs are embossed, or stamped into the right shoe in either sliver or gold. The shoes also, according to Thomas, bear the manufacturer’s production numbers E58 68 (219).

The bows on this pair of ruby slippers each “is rimmed in 46 rhinestones, surrounding 42 bugle beads and the three larger red [rectangular] jewels centered in a line” (219).  Notably, these bows seem to vary from the others slightly, with rounded edges while all other bows bear a more angular appearance. The bow’s “stones and beads are all imbedded on the bow shaped piece of strap leather, dyed red” (219).

Like the Smithsonian pair already discussed, “the leather soles [on this pair of ruby slippers] are painted red and orange felt has been glued to the front foundation” (Thomas 220). A well-worn black rubber cap is also affixed to each heel (220); they appear to have been previously painted red, like other pairs, but the paint has worn off due to wear. Overall, the shoes are in fair condition, “with sequins missing, indicating substantial use during the making of the film” (Thomas 220).

(Image: Christie's East)

Unlike other pairs, they do not have JUDY GARLAND written in black ink on the white kid leather. Instead “the word Double is handwritten on the white kid lining of each shoe” (220). Thomas believes this means “these shoes were the second or third pair made for use in the production, in case the first pair were damaged or badly rent” (220). It does not, however, “represent ‘stand-in’ according to several MGM costumers familiar with the studio’s practice of labeling wardrobe” (220). However, several people still feel the shoes may have been used primarily by the stand-in, as they are notably larger than the other pairs. However, according to Thomas, several pairs of Garland’s own shoes have been found to be size 6 ½, which suggests she may have worn the shoes. Further, evidence suggests during extended dancing sequences, it’s likely Garland’s feet would have swollen slightly, further supporting her use of the slightly larger shoes. Also, some believe Garland may have worn this pair for photos and publicity appearances after the film’s primary shooting was complete (Thomas, 220).

Bobbie Koshay dressed as Dorothy (Image courtesy of Rhys Thomas)

Whatever the case with ‘Dorothy’s Shoes,’ “there is no question that [Bobbie Koshay] wore ruby slippers for lighting and blocking purposes, but there is no reason to believe any pair of ruby slippers was worn exclusively by any stand-in” (220). Thomas believes the shoes “were probably worn by [Judy] Garland during many of the skipping and dancing scenes, judging from [their] size and, construction, including the addition of orange felt on the soles” (220). They were clearly “worn frequently, but not worn out” (220).

These ruby slippers “remained the property of Roberta Bauman for 48 years, during which time she exhibited them solely for the benefit of children” (Thomas, 220). On June 21st, 1988 she auctioned them at Christie’s East in New York.  The new owner was Mr. Anthony Landini who purchased the shoes for $150,000, along with Christie’s commission of $15,000.00 (220).

(Image: Christie's East)

Soon after, on April 29, 1989, Landini put the shoes on long-term exhibition at the then Disney-MGM Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida in the queue area of their replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theater (Thomas, 220-21).

Later, Landini auctioned the slippers, again at Christie’s East in New York City, on May 24, 2000, selling for $600,000, and an additional buyer’s premium of $66,000. They were purchased by David Elkouby and his partners, who own memorabilia shops in Hollywood. At the time he expressed intentions of founding a memorabilia museum in which to display the shoes. Elkouby and Co. have yet to display the shoes.