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Attention, my pretties, it appears that the Wicked Witch of the West’s iconic hourglass has found a new home.
The signature Wizard of Oz prop recently sold for $495,000. Heritage Auctions, an organization known for auctioning off collectibles, described it as the “most famous and recognizable timepiece in film history.”
The piece played a central role in the movie, in which the Wicked Witch threatens Dorothy, saying with the hourglass in hand, “You see that? That’s how much longer you’ve got to be alive! And it isn’t long, my pretty! It isn’t long! I can’t wait forever to get those shoes!”
Over the course of the scene, the camera zooms in on the hourglass and shows that Dorothy’s friends, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, are running out of time to save her from the Wicked Witch.
While many versions of the hourglass were created for the film, the one that sold on Dec. 17 was made out of wood and papier-mâché. It was used in the climactic scene where the Witch holds it above her head in an act of defiance against Dorothy and her friends as they try to escape.
According to Heritage Auctions, the hourglass’ Gothic frame was crafted by studio artisans, who included winged gargoyles perched on top of its spiraled columns. The glass was also hand-blown and filled with red glitter later for display purposes, as the glitter doesn’t fit through the glass’ narrow neck.
After The Wizard of Oz, it was used in other films, like Babes on Broadway (1941), Diane (1956) and 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964).
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Santa Barbara International Film Festival