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Syfy's new "Hollywood Treasure" show bags on Disney's "Mary Poppins"

Syfy's new "Hollywood Treasure" show bags on Disney's "Mary Poppins"

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The Walt Disney Archives has lots of props & costume pieces from "Mary Poppins" currently on file ...


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

... among them that cherries-and-daisies hat which Julie Andrews wore in this 1964 Academy Award-winning film ...


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved

... as well as that snowglobe version of St. Paul's Cathedral which Ms. Andrews held as she sang "Feed the Birds."


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

But what about the carpet bag that Mary Poppins was carrying with her when she arrived at Jane & Michael's house. Is that also in the Disney Archives?


Copyright Disney Enterprises,Inc. All rights reserved

Um ... no.


Copyright 2010 Syfy. All rights reserved

Believe it or not - as tonight's premiere episode of SyFy's new reality series, "Hollywood Treasure," reveals - this highly prized collectible was actually given away by the Studio back in 1965. Which is how it wound up in the hands of the Rosens, this nice family that live in the suburbs right outside of Chicago.

But wait. This story gets better. The Rosens didn't treat this Mary Poppins prop  like it was some priceless family heirloom. They actually used this carpet bag for luggage when they went on vacation. And the Rosen girls ... They used it whenever they played dress up. And after Nancy and her sisters grew up ... Well, Mary Poppins' magical carpet wound up packed away in a cardboard box in the family basement.


Joe Maddalena and Nancy Rosen inspect the Mary Poppins carpet bag in the
Rosen family's basement. Copyright 2010 Syfy. All rights reserved

This is at least the story that Eric Rosen told Joe Maddalena -- the owner of Profiles in History, the world's largest auctioneer of original movie, television and pop culture relics. Which genuinely intrigues Joe. Whereas Brian Chanes (who's Head of Acquisition at Profiles in History) ... he has trouble substantiating the Rosen family's story.

But Mr. Maddalena really wanted this piece for his June 2010 auction. So he flew all the way to Chicago to check this carpet bag out. And though the item that he saw was clearly a little aged & worn, there was enough right about the bag (i.e. it was definitely studio construction, very simply finished. By that I mean, if this carpet bag had been commercially made, it would have had a different lining.  Which is why it appeared to be the close-up bag from the film) that Joe agreed to list this item for the Rosen family in the next Profiles in History auction.


Joe Maddalena & Brian Chanes compare the Rosens' carpet bag to the one that
was used in "Mary Poppins." Copyright 2010 Syfy. All rights reserved

But as far as Maddalena and Chanes were concerned, just thinking that a prop might be the real thing wasn't good enough. Which is why - once they got this carpet bag back to the company 's corporate headquarters in Calabasas Hills, CA - Joe and Brian began minutely examine this alleged Mary Poppins prop. Even going so far as to grab high resolution digital stills from this Walt Disney Productions film so that they could then compare the flower pattern on the bag that had been used in the movie to the one that they had in their office.


Joe Maddalena use a digital still to examine the flower pattern on the carpet bag
that was used in production of "Mary Poppins." Copyright 2010 Syfy.
All rights reserved

And the final verdict was that this carpet bag was actually legit. Which is why Joe placed this highly prized collectible in Profiles in History's June 2010 auction with the hope that this "Mary Poppins" prop might bring in a bid of $10,000 - $15,000.  


Copyright 2010 Syfy. All rights reserved

"So what did this prop actually wind up going for?," you ask. Sorry, but I'm not going to let the cat out of that particular carpet bag. To find that out, you're going to have to watch tonight's premiere episode of "Hollywood Treasure." Which airs on Syfy at 10 p.m. / 9 p.m. Central.

I'll say this much. The Rosen family was very, very happy with the outcome of this particular Profiles in History auction. As for film fans, I'd imagine that they too are going to be happy with this new SyFy reality series. Given that upcoming episodes of "Hollywood Treasure" will be showcasing the Wicked Witch's hat from 1939's "The Wizard of Oz" ...


Sue Palmer, Joe Maddalena and one of the most iconic costume
pieces in film history. Copyright 2010 Syfy. All rights reserved

... as well as that vintage roadster which was used in production of  "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" in 1968.


(L to R) Pierre Picton, Joe Maddalena, Tracey McCall and Brian Chanes take
their fine four fendered friend out for a spin. Photo by Akira Suemori.
Copyright 2010 Syfy. All rights reserved

So if  you're a film fan, you should probably make a point of regularly poppin' in on "Hollywood Treasure."  Which is a genuinely entertaining & well-produced program that showcases only the rarest , most-sought-after pieces of Hollywood memorabilia.

Your thoughts?

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  • Wow... that was really interesting, actually. I'd certainly watch this show if I actually had the Scifi channel.

  • Can you put a further comment on tomorrow to let us know how much it went for?!  I don't get that TV programme either!

  • Unfortunately I got this on my Google alerts a day too late.  

    Also, I don't have SyFy  -_-  

    But if SyFy has a site I'd still like to see the episode!  I love Mary Poppins and the Wizard of Oz.

  • OK, I'll spill. The Poppins bag went for $100,000 - not a bad return on a free gift that your kids have played with all their lives. The Wicked Witch's hat went for $200,000 (and the lady had spent $30,000 on it twenty years prior). The big score was a suit worn by Bela Lugosi in the film White Zombie. Some guy paid $50 for it at a studio auction. Suit went for.....  $110,000.

  • It's difficult and frustrating to read these articles. They're consistently interesting, but too often hitchy and stop-start due to split and incomplete sentences that would be easily corrected and smoothed by using commas.

  • Turns out that 'won in a contest' story is bogus, and completely unverifiable. Also, the bag was a commercially-made product, not 'studio made' as the article suggests. IOW, there seems to be a very good chance thus ain't what it's claimed to be.

  • As entertaining it is to see iconic Hollywood props as they are today, and learn more about their backstory, I always think it's ultimately sad that these pieces of entertainment and cultural history almost always end up in someones living room, seldom to be enjoyed by the public.  Many if not all of the 'finds' from this show, in particular, are exploited to the full extent possible in order to sell for the highest prices and gain more revenue for the auction company.   "How much something went for' is interesting, but it would ultimately be more of a service to all if the items were in archives, museums or displays.   Personally I'd never want to own something so unique that it takes the enjoyment away from sharing it with others.   No matter how much it's 'worth'.

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