Buddy Ebsen’s Performance Shoes

Value (2013) | $20,000 Insurance

Buddy Ebsen, known from The Hillbillies, Jed Clampett. I brought his shoes. And, of course, we have a picture here. And these were his dancing shoes, his all-day shoes.

What were you hoping to find out?

How to insure them. I have quite a collection of all of his items, his clothing and so on, and I would like to know how much to insure them for.

What was your relationship with Buddy?

I was married to him.

You were married to him. And these came directly from him. There's been no break in ownership, so that gives us absolutely impeccable provenance. When you look at celebrity-- and obviously, when you say "celebrity," you're really talking about a major celebrity in Buddy Ebsen-- when you're talking about valuing this type of material, you want to try to put it in the perspective of, how important are the items that you're looking at in terms of, "Are they memorable?" And as someone growing up in the 1960s and never, ever missing an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, when I look at these shoes, and then you look at the photograph of Buddy Ebsen wearing these shoes... Before we even started shooting this, everyone on the set was singing the songs. This is an iconic piece of Hollywood memorabilia from that time period. The other pair of shoes-- and you have a wonderful photograph there-- those were his first dance shoes. His first dance shoes in the '20s. He danced in Vaudeville, the Ziegfeld Follies, in these shoes. And he was going to be the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz originally. So, you're talking about two very important pair of shoes here in terms of Hollywood history. If I was going to put an insurance value on them, I wouldn't insure them for anything less than $20,000.


For the two pair of shoes. I'm absolutely thrilled to see these. It's just really impressive just to sit here and be able to put a finger on the shoes that I watched on TV all those years. So thank you so much for bringing them in.

You're welcome.

Appraisal Details

Philip Weiss Auctions
Lynbrook, NY
Appraised value (2013)
$20,000 Insurance
Anaheim, CA (June 22, 2013)
20th Century
May 19, 2014: In this segment appraiser Phil Weiss explains that Buddy Ebsen was cast to play the Tin Man in "The Wizard of Oz." After this episode's broadcast, however, a viewer pointed out that Ebsen was originally cast to play the Scarecrow, rather than Ray Bolger. Before filming began, the actors agreed to switch roles. Ebsen then had to back out of the film anyway after having a reaction to the makeup.

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