The outfit worn in several scenes of the 1939 film "Gone With the Wind" by Vivien Leigh as she played Scarlett O'Hara. It fetched $137,000 at an auction.

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Collector says he bought the outfit as it was about to be thrown away

Vivien Leigh wore it in several key scenes in the 1939 movie

CNN  — 

A dress worn by Vivien Leigh as she played Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind” has fetched $137,000 at an auction.

That’s a pretty healthy profit for the collector who bought the outfit decades ago for a mere $20 as it was on the verge of being tossed out.

The outfit, a gray two-piece ensemble, was sold at an auction in Beverly Hills, California, on Saturday, according to Heritage Auctions.

It was the most sought after item among roughly 150 pieces of “Gone With the Wind” memorabilia on sale in the auction. They come from the huge collection amassed by James Tumblin, who used to work at Universal Studios.

‘They were throwing it away’

Tumblin said he came across the Scarlett O’Hara dress in the early 1960s while doing some research at a costume company.

“I saw this dress on the floor and a docent told me not to bother to pick it up, because they were throwing it away,” he said, according to The Telegraph.

“I asked if he would sell it to me,” he said. “I had noticed there was a printed label saying Selznick International Pictures and ‘Scarlett production dress’ was written in ink.”

From that savvy purchase, his “Gone With the Wind” collection snowballed.

Other standout items include a straw hat worn by Leigh in a number of scenes in the movie and a gray wool suit worn by Clark Gable as his character, Rhett Butler, kicks down the door of Scarlett O’Hara’s boudoir.

Faded over the years

The dress – a jacket and full skirt ensemble – was worn in several key scenes in the 1939 movie, including when Scarlett O’Hara encounters Butler and when she gets attacked in the shanty town.

The outfit has suffered a little with age, however.

When Leigh wore it in the movie, it was slate blue-gray. Over the years, it’s faded to light gray.

But that didn’t deter the winning bidder on Saturday.