The original Cowardly Lion costume worn by Bert Lahr in the 1939 classic The Wizard Of Oz is looking for someone with enough courage to give it a new home.
According to the L.A. Times, the costume’s current owner, Hollywood archivist James Comisar, is personally putting the beloved piece of film memorabilia up for sale to the buyer with the best offer.
Comisar, who lives in Los Angeles, is selling the iconic piece to help fund his $35 million capital campaign for a Museum of Television in Phoenix to house his personal gallery. He owns one of the largest collections of TV artifacts made up of over 10,000 individual pieces.
“We are just starting to engage the entertainment community in building awareness for the museum goal,” he told L.A. Times.
Having acquired the Cowardly Lion costume, which is made with real lion hair, 20 years ago, Comisar is opting to sell the collectible outside of the auction house so he can ensure the piece goes to a buyer within the United States.
“I feel like I am placing a child in a good home,” he said. “We need to find a buyer for the Cowardly Lion outside of public auction. We need to engage the Hollywood community.”
Comisar estimates that the one-of-a-kind costume would bring in bids in the $2-3 million range if put up for sale in a formal auction house. He’s currently taking offers from interested buyers by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.