Alternate title: Did you ever?
The roller coaster that’s been the missing costumes saga has been journeying upward since the recovery of the Princess dress. Sure, it would seem as though the ride should have ended, with passengers exiting, all wobbly legs and wide grins. But there was one last peak, which would wrap this story up in a great big Shirley Temple bow. And that involved the Princess crown and scepter.
While Shirley retained the right to keep her film costumes, Joseff’s of Hollywood did not give her the same option when it came to their creations. Thus, the gilded crown and scepter worn during the Princess dream sequence returned to Joseff after filming, and remained in their collection.
Until they decided to bring their pieces to auction. Announced earlier this year, Tonya was determined to reunite them with the dress, which at that time, was safe in her possession. But then Princess disappeared. And reappeared – quite literally in the nick of time. Now that the gown was safely home, what better conclusion could this chronicle have than to reunite the crown and scepter with it?
In the days between the Princess’s return and the auction at Julien’s in California, we were riding high. Jubilant, expectant and incredibly hopeful, we laser-beamed our good vibes toward Tonya.
Saturday, November 18. We rallied around computers and smartphones, trying to keep up with the bidding. Main man Woolsey, pictured above, was there in person – our Army representative. The crown comes up to bid….and the price skyrockets. And it’s lost. No sense bidding on the scepter without the crown, but that too shoots into the stratosphere. All we knew when it was over was that they would stay together (a mild yay), as they were purchased by a person in the room (as opposed to an internet or phone bidder). But they didn’t belong to Tonya….or to us.
Just as we were ready to alight from the ride, this time with dispirited faces to go with the wobbly knees, the coaster lurches forward. IT IS NOT OVER. Whaaaaaa?
I won’t keep you in suspense. Woolsey informs us that they have been purchased with the sole intent of being exhibited at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum, slated to open in 2019…..the very place Tonya was planning on bringing the Princess in first place! And NOW the ride can end – with passengers leaping from the cars, screeching their disbelief, their surprise, their unbridled joy.
It was Shirley magic, pure and simple. Or Shirley spirit. We have seen it before, over and over and over again. During the Depression, they called her Little Miss Miracle. There was a reason.
Thanksgiving came when the dress was found; now it’s an early Christmas.