Robert Taylor Trivia: You Could Own Marcus Vinicius’ Uniform

tunic-photo tunic-photo01

Someone has listed a costume worn by Robert Taylor as Marcus Vinicius in Quo Vadis for sale on ebay.  This is the seller’s description:

“Up for auction is a very rare piece of film and American history. This outfit was worn by Robert Taylor playing General Marcus Vinicinus in the epic movie Quo Vadis put out by MGM in 1951. The costume designer, Hershel McCoy, was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on this movie.

This item was originally purchased at the famous MGM auctions of 1970. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to most of the costume. We acquired it a couple of years ago and it had not been stored properly to preserve the costume.

The real value of this auction is the sandals and calf guards which are still in displayable condition. I could never break up the piece though, so you will also be receiving the tunic and dress uniform as seen in the photos.”

The calf guards are in the best condition showing minor fraying. There are lion heads on both sides of the cuffs. They are missing the string that secured them to Robert Taylor’s legs. The sandals have some minor gold leaf missing, what look like moth marks on the bottom and one of the sandals is missing its metal fastener.

Both the tunic and dress uniform are quite dirty. The tunic has quite a few moth holes. The dress uniform appears to be constructed using gold leaf which on some parts of the skirt and shoulders has come off completely. The gold leaf continues to come off when disturbed. From comparing with stills from the movie, the skirt is also missing lion heads which adorned the waist.

The dress uniform is marked “R. Taylor” “M.G.M.” on the inside.

I took a lot of pictures so you can see the condition better.

I am starting this auction out at only $79 and we will just see where it goes! The auction house Profiles in History sold a pair of hero gladiator sandals from another film for over $1,400, you could end up with a great deal. One thing is for sure, you won’t see a piece like this come up on eBay for quite some time.

The photos:

Left to right:uniform front and back; tunic; Mr. Taylor’s name; buckle.

Left to right: sandals and calf guard; sandals, soles; sandals, uppers; sandals, heels.

Interior of calf guard.

Please note:  I am not the seller and have no interest, personal or financial, in these items. This is only for fun.

About giraffe44

I became a Robert Taylor fan at the age of 15 when his TV show, "The Detectives" premiered. My mother wanted to watch it because she remembered Mr. Taylor from the thirties. I took one look and that was it. I spent the rest of my high school career watching Robert Taylor movies on late night TV, buying photos of him, making scrapbooks and being a typical teenager. College, marriage and career intervened. I remember being sad when Mr. Taylor died. I mailed two huge scrapbooks to Ursula Thiess. I hope she got them. Time passed, retirement, moving to Florida. Then in 2012 my husband Fred pointed that there were two Robert Taylor movies that evening on Turner Classic Movies--"Ivanhoe" and "Quentin Durward." I watched both and it happened all over again. I started this blog both for fans and for people who didn't know about Robert Taylor. As the blog passes 200,000 views I'm delighted that so many people have come by and hope it will help preserve the legacy of this fine actor and equally good man.
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7 Responses to Robert Taylor Trivia: You Could Own Marcus Vinicius’ Uniform

  1. Pingback: Crawfordgold's Blog

  2. dianne345 says:

    How fortunate we are to have the movie on DVD to see this costume in its original splendor! It would be nice to see it again on a theatre screen but that isn’t likely. TCM does have occasional big-screen showings at select theatres but I don’t think they are likely to choose “Quo Vadis” for one of them.


  3. giraffe44 says:

    Hi, Dianne. Sad but true, they only seem to do the most famous films–“Casablanca,” “Citizen Kane,” etc. I do wish they would do Mr. Taylor on his birthday. The last time they got the date wrong. I hope your healing is going well. Judith


  4. dianne345 says:

    His birthday always comes during their annual August Summer Under the Stars & although he has been a Star of the Month, he has never been included in Summer Under the Stars, even though Lucille Ball had a tribute on her 100th birthday in 2011 the day after his. I believe some people are planning a 105th birthday tribute in Beatrice, NE this year. Perhaps they could get a good print of “Quo Vadis” & show it at a theatre in that city.

    My healing is going well. Still having home visits from physical therapists. Thanks for asking.


    • giraffe44 says:

      Dianne, I’d forgotten that. They did it in June which is the month he died,not the month he was born. The people in Nebraska did just have a showing of “Quo Vadis ” in a theatre. I wish I could have been there. Get well soon. Judith


  5. andrew dock says:

    I have always loved this film; its the best of the 1950s Roman epics; only Ben Hur comes close.


  6. giraffe44 says:

    I agree. One thing that bothers me about a lot of them is how short the mens’ costumes are. It is historically inaccurate and makes them look like circus performers. Thanks for writing.


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