LONDON (AP) _ The blue and white gingham dress worn by July Garland in ``The Wizard of Oz'' was sold for $252,000 at auction Wednesday.
The dress, one of the most recognizable in movie history, went to a buyer bidding by telephone who did not wish to be identified, said Bonhams, the auctioneer.
Garland, then 17, played the character of Dorothy in the 1939 film.
``This dress represents the quintessential magic of childhood in the most beloved film of the 20th century,'' said Jon Baddeley, head of the Bonhams collector's department.
``It has become a cherished memory for millions of fans worldwide and was worn by one of the most talented and respected stars in Hollywood,'' he said. ``Film costume rarely gets better than this.''
The dress, which had been expected to fetch $63,000, is a pinafore style popular at the time and bears a label with Garland's name sewn on the hem.
When it appeared, ``The Wizard of Oz'' was the most expensive film ever made and it launched Garland's career. The movie vied with ``Gone With The Wind'' as the most spectacular film of its time.