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Judy Garland’s Recovered Ruby Slippers From ‘Wizard of Oz’ Going Up for Auction

After a second man was charged in connection with the theft of a pair of ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, the shoes worn by Judy Garland are going up for auction.

Collector Michael Shaw, who owned the slippers when they were stolen, was reunited with the priceless piece from the 1939 film on Sunday during a private ceremony at the Judy Garland Museum. He had loaned the pair to the museum in August 2005 for what was meant to be a 10-week viewing tied to the annual Judy Garland Festival, but the shoes were swiped a week later.

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Upon receiving the sequin-covered shoes nearly 20 years later, Shaw has decided to hand them to Heritage Auctions, which will take the famed slippers on a world tour, including stops in Los Angeles, New York City, London and Tokyo. Afterwards, the shoes will go up for auction in December.

“You cannot overstate the importance of Dorothy’s ruby slippers: They are the most important prop in Hollywood history,” Heritage Auctions executive vice president Joe Maddalena shared in a statement. “This pair is precious as it hails from the legendary collection of Michael Shaw, and we are honored he has partnered with Heritage. As TCM host Ben Mankiewicz once said, these slippers ‘symbolize hope,’ and we’re thrilled they will journey down the yellow brick road to the auction block to a new home.”

This pair of slippers is one of four surviving pairs from the film. The others are held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Smithsonian Museum of American History and a private collector. However, as Forbes noted in 2008, the soon-to-be-auctioned shoes owned by Shaw are “of a higher quality than the pair now residing in the Smithsonian.”

In 2018, the FBI was able to recover Shaw’s stolen slippers. Terry Jon Martin pleaded guilty in Oct. 2023 to theft of a major artwork, admitting to using a hammer to break the museum’s glass door and display case. In January, the 76-year-old was sentenced to time served due to his declining health.

Jerry Hal Saliterman, who allegedly assisted Martin in hiding the slippers, was charged last Friday with theft of a major artwork and witness tampering. He allegedly threatened to release a sex tape of a woman to “take her down with him” if she spoke up to the FBI about the slippers’ whereabouts. According to the indictment, from August 2005 to July 2018, Saliterman “received, concealed and disposed of an object of cultural heritage.”

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