Auction Results

Vivian Leigh Original Fabric Swatch From Iconic Film "Gone With The Wind" Known As The "Barbecue Dress" (Don McCulty) Vivien Leigh Publicist & Fan Club Chariman

"Frankly My Dear, I don't give a damn."  

The Barbecue Party Dress is one of the most familiar costumes in the film world. It is one of the most photographed dresses in Scarlett O'Hara's wardrobe.

The bodice is of floral printed organza, fitted snug to the body. The neckline is cut low, curving upward to the shoulder and finished with a neckline flounce with green velveteen ribbon weaving through.

The Skirt is composed of a lining, a skirt and floral printed overskirt, stitched together into the waist band. The bodice and skirt are joined at the waistline with hook and eyelet closures.

The original fabric was silk organza, hand silk screen printed.  Only the amount of yardage required to make the Barbecue Party Dress was printed in 1938.  This swatch of silk organza comes from the orignal amount of yardage that was created for this dress.  No other material was created for the original dress during that era.  This swatch is from the original dress that Vivien Leigh wore.

According to the LA Museum, which currently houses the Barbeque dress, there was another dress that was made for Leigh's stand in.  But based on the strong provenance and the overload of correspondance McCulty had with Vivien Leigh, her fan club and Olivia De Havilland, this swatch came from Vivien's dress.  In addition, Vivien sent photos of herself in that dress and signed the 2x3" portrait photo of herself wearing the dress to McCulty. 

(Don McCulty) Vivien Leigh Publicist & Fan Club Chariman obtained this swatch, himself.  It has been handed down from his personal collection. The provenance is supported by the correspondance between Vivien Leigh, Olivia De Havailland and Don McCulty.  The entirety of his collection included photos from the famous photographers Angus McBean and John Vickers, Vivien Leigh's scarf, hair, and other ephemera.  The original letters are being sold separately but are pictured here to show the provenance and support of McCulty's ties with the Vivien herself.  

Don Leigh McCulty, was Vivien's biggest fan, so much so, that he started her fan club. Being the President of the fan club, brought Don many liason's with glorious movie stars, photographers and anyone that had to do with Vivien and her career.  

One letter reads "............".  Mr. Leigh, as he was addressed, befriended famed, flamboyant photographer Angus McBean.  McBean's notable photographs, his art, brought him to stardom and Vivien was a favorite Muse.  Because of there close friendship, often, McBean offered McCulty many gifts which included photography, flocks of hair from the Movie Stars, and a piece of the Scarlett O'Hara's most famous dress, The Barbecue dress.   Photographer, John Vickers, McBean's understudy, also gifted McCulty many original photos.  

Offered is this incredible swatch from Don McCulty's Collection.

This dress was in a deplorable state in 1976 and the skirt had to be remade. It is during this time that this original swatch was preserved.  New silk organza was printed with the original design and the reconstruction was supervised throughout by Mr. Plunkett himself.  A green velveteen sash with a large bow in the back completes the ensemble.

The barbecue dress from 'Gone With The Wind' is perhaps one of the most familiar costumes in the film world. The designer, Walter Plunkett, spent months traveling through the South to historical societies and private collections where he examined and sketched original costume pieces from the Civil War period. The green color used for the printed sprigs, a motif designed by Walter Plunkett, was chosen to enhance Miss Leigh's eyes. This dress was donated to the Costume and Textile Department of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

 

Authentication

Letter from Agent, Letter of Provenance

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