Gone With The Wind dress up for auction

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A dress that Vivien Leigh wore in her Oscar-winning role as Scarlett O'Hara in the cinema classic Gone With The Wind is coming up for auction next month.

Heritage Auction said Thursday the blue-grey ribbed cotton dress with black details could fetch more than US$100,000 (S$140,000) when it goes on the block April 18.

It is among some 150 items from the collection of James Tumblin, who over the years has amassed more than 300,000 artefacts connected with the 1939 epic.

"Very rarely does memorabilia of this calibre come to market," said Heritage Auction managing director Kathleen Guzman in a statement.

Tumblin, former head of hair and makeup at Universal Studios, recognised the dress when he came across it at a Los Angeles theatrical costume supply outlet.

Upon learning it was about to be thrown out, he paid US$20 for it - after a bit of haggling.

The opening bid for the dress - which Leigh wore in four key scenes - is US$60,000 plus buyer's premium, the auctioneers said.

Other lots featured in the auction include a period grey suit that Clark Gable wore when his character Rhett Butler kicked down O'Hara's door.

Also up for bidding: a period blouse that Leigh wore in the film's "I'll never be hungry again" scene.