1943 Olivia de Havilland Suit from “Princess O’Rourke”

Value (2010) | $1,500 Insurance
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GUEST:
The suit is an Olivia de Havilland suit. She wore it in the movie Princess O'Rourke. And I acquired the suit from a friend of my husband's. The friend of ours used to be an assistant of Debbie Reynolds. And when the studios were having financial problems and everything back in the '60s, Debbie Reynolds and Jane Withers were able to salvage a lot of things, and this was one of them. Debbie gave it to our friend, and then he asked me if I wanted to purchase it, and I said yes. The dress and the lobby card and the photos that came with it, it just cost me $50.

APPRAISER:
It's really neat to have this type of outfit with provenance. This photograph you have shows her in a scene from the movie wearing this identical suit.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
And if you open it up, and you look in the side panel back here, we have a label from Warner Brothers studios. And it has the number 17313-404, which was attributed to that movie.

GUEST:
In this sleeve there was a tag. Is this how they catalogued...

APPRAISER:
That's from Warner Brothers. And when they would do a deaccession or an auction of things, every garment would get a tag like that that would say the name of the actress and the movie that it was in.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
As you look at the suit, you notice that there is a little bit of moth damage here and there.

GUEST:
I did notice that.

APPRAISER:
Well, I would tell you not to do anything with it, because the value of this suit is not in the pristine garment, but it's for the historical value that this suit has. I would just wrap it in acid-free tissue, roll it instead of fold it, and place it somewhere in your home where the temperature will remain consistent. A beautiful 1940s suit like this, all hand-stitched, like the detail on the front and the back, generally would sell on the market for about $150 to $200 tops.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Olivia's suit, because you have all the provenance, insurance value would be around $1,500 for the suit.

GUEST:
Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. I can't believe it. That's unreal.

APPRAISER:
Thank you for bringing it to the Roadshow. I appreciate it.

GUEST:
Thank you very much.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
The Cat's Meow
Midland, TX
Appraised value (2010)
$1,500 Insurance
Event
Biloxi, MS (July 24, 2010)
Period
20th Century
Material
Cloth

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