May 24, 2019 5:43 am
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The Wizard of Oz Munchkin Bald cap with Hair Appliance

It is hard to think of a movie that has had more written about it that than the 1939 Classic “The Wizard of Oz”. This was not an easy movie to make. One of the most involved departments was makeup. LeRoy wanted the characters to come to life. Over 35 of the top make-up artists of the day were utilized, headed by the already legendary Jack Dawn. It was a taunting task, not only to make the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow come to life, but creating the whole village of “Munchkins”. A technique was used for the first time in film, with the newly invented “foam rubber” which allowed creating extremely realistic and “movable” face and body appliances. Dozens of younger make-up artists were also used, especially in the Munchkin sequences. One of them was Harry Thomas, who worked under Jack Dawn, especially in creating Munchkin appliances. Thomas became a legend in his own right, and continued his career for over 40 years, specializing in creating realistic horror makeup for lower budget films . As luck would have it, Harry was a packrat who loved to save virtually everything he worked on. And even luckier, when he retired, he began to offer some of his treasures to those he greatly admired. One of these was his protégé, the award-winning make-up artist Mary Gaffney. One of the pieces he gave to her was, as she states, a “screen used Munchkin bald cap and wing from the ‘Wizard of Oz’”. The bald cap is made of Papier-mâché which was the material of choice for such appliances at that time. Real human hair was then hand-stitched into lace, which was then carefully hand-stitched to the cap. On the top of the head, as a trademark “Munchkin” accent is another human hair piece: a “curly-cue” which has been shaped with mustache wax and glued on. This amazing piece is displayed on a custom made Munchkin head and stand. It comes with the letter of provenance from Mary Caffney. (Original cap and hair approx 13×16, custom head and stand approx 13×8). Estimate $9,000 – $12,000. Starting Bid $500

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