Sunday, 19 April 2015

Second hand stuff.

In our local Co-op shop there is a TV screen with a rolling programme of odd news items and reminders that the Co-op belongs to it's members (other shops have loyalty cards but the Co-op cardholders are "members", going back to the original idea of the Co-operative movement. I don't accumulate points that have to be used in store; I receive a dividend which is paid into my bank account. I can still remember going shopping for my mother and being asked in the co-op for her "divvy" number - 9232 by the way!) and urging members to swipe their card, by buying stuff, and so be entered into a draw at the end of the month. 

One of the news items this morning was something about a dress worn by Vivien Leigh in her role as Scarlett O'Hara in the film Gone with the Wind. It had sold for a fabulous sum of money, which seemed to me a bit much for a dress that might have been made out of curtains. (An impoverished Scarlett makes a dress out of green velvet curtains when she wants to impress society and persuade them that she is still doing fine.) 

So I googled the news item when I got home from my run into the village. It turned out not to be the curtain dress. It's a much shabbier affair. Everyday wear, I suppose, rather than what you choose when you dress to impress. The collector who was selling it had bought it originally for $20, saving it from just being thrown away, and now sold it for $137,000. Not a bad profit! 

In the same auction, Scarlett's straw hat sold for €52,000, a suit worn by Clark Gable as Rhett Butler for $55,000 and a black bonnet worn by both Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara and Olivia de Havilland as Melanie Wilkes for $30,000. You would have thought that the last item might have got more as it was double memorabilia but clearly the world of nostalgia is as fickle as fame itself. 

Either way, that's an awful lot of money for a pile of second hand clothing.

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