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Cowardly Lion costume from 'Wizard of Oz' on the auction block

November 30, 2011 | 11:20 am

OZ lion costume 2

One of the two known Cowardly Lion costumes worn by Bert Lahr in "The Wizard of Oz" is set to join Dorothy's ruby slippers on the auction block later this month.

The following description of what one can only assume is the holy grail of furries everywhere was provided by auction organizer Profiles in History

"This costume was worn when the Cowardly Lion first meets Dorothy on the Yellow Brick Road and sings Cowardly Lion Costume‘If I only had the Nerve’ as well as when he later sings his trademark, ‘If I were King of the Forest’ in the Emerald City."

The Nov. 30 announcement of the costume's addition to a two-day Hollywood memorabilia auction that includes a Marilyn Monroe wedding ring, Bela Lugosi's "Dracula" cape and a DeLorean that appeared in "Back to the Future III," mentioned an interesting factoid we hadn't been aware of: the Cowardly Lion's costume, which has a presale estimated value of $2 million to $3 million, was made from an actual, honest-to-goodness lion hide. 

The auction is scheduled to take place Dec. 15 and 16 at the Paley Center for the Media at 465 N. Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. Additional information about the auction can be found at the Profiles in History website.

We're not sure who has the courage -- especially in this economy -- to drop a cool $3 million (or more) on such a trophy, but some small part of us would love to see it go to former CBS News anchor Dan Rather who, you may recall, briefly but famously made the word "courage" his one-word broadcast signoff back in 1986.

RELATED:

'Back to the Future' DeLorean, costumes and props set for auction

Ruby slippers worn in 'Wizard of Oz' to go on auction block

West Hollywood makes fur ban official

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos, from top: A scene from "The Wizard of Oz" with Jack Haley, left, Judy Garland, Ray Bolger and Bert Lahr; the Cowardly Lion costume that will be up for bid at a Dec. 15-16 auction. Credits: Turner Entertainment / Warner Bros. Entertainment; Profiles in History

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