More, More, More On Bette’s Auction

Bette Midler‘s costumes and baubles to be publicly auctioned to benefit charity for city
BY Tracy Connor
Wednesday, October 19th 2011, 4:00 AM

(Bette says this was her swan song to her popular character, Soph….and I have to agree it was the perfect way to say goodbye to her,,,)

Miss M with crystal-inlaid uke in a Las Vegas show, and the costume from that show.

For 40 years, Bette Midler squirreled away costumes and keepsakes from her many movies and musical tours. Now she’s cleaning out her closet for a good cause – greening the city.

The Divine Miss M is putting more than 300 items on the block to benefit her charity, which spruces up city parks and is partnering with the project to plant a million trees in the city by 2017.

Darren Julien of Julien’s Auctions of Beverly Hills predicts the Nov. 12 auction, which includes online bidding, could bring in as much as $400,000.

“It’s a huge public event,” he said Tuesday.

“Bette’s an icon. We’ve done sales for Cher and Barbra Streisand. She’s at that level – and she has some outrageous costumes. People are already bidding online.”

He said he tried for five years to persuade her to sell off some of her stuff, but she was “very reluctant” to part with sentimental items.

In the end, she gave in, so cash can be raised for the New York Restoration Project, the urban greening nonprofit she founded when she moved back to New York in 1995.

Highlights of the sale include a Valentino gown she wore to the 1992 Oscars, a jumpsuit she wore on her 1979 “Divine Madness” tour and her famous mermaid getup.

There are gold records, awards and her Hollywood Walk of Fame plaque. And annotated scripts for “Beaches” and “For the Boys” have presale estimates ranging from $500 to $800.

A pair of crystal platform shoes she wore on the cover of a remix LP has a presale price tag of $500 to $700 – and a good story to match.

“These were given to me by Cher in the early 1970s,” Midler wrote in the catalog. “They were sensational, but a bit hard to walk in without falling down, so I put them on display in my house. Visitors were mesmerized.”

There will also be a burgundy knit wool dress from Bobbie Brooks, which could fetch $800 or more, that Midler donned during her first winter in New York.

“I think it’s one of the first new dresses I ever bought. Up until then, I made most of my own clothes or shopped at Goodwill,” she said.

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