Shirley Temple costumes mysteriously lost through UPS, now reportedly in the KC area

UPS reportedly sold the ensembles as unclaimed
Posted at 3:48 PM, Sep 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 19:54:44-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Shirley Temple is one of the most famous stars of the silver screen – which is why the costumes she wore in her films fetch top dollar at auction.

Yet Tonya Bervaldi-Camaratta believes the five Temple ensembles in her collection are priceless. The Florida collector and author purchased some of them at a 2015 Kansas City auction with a mission to share Temple's legacy with others. 

"I just thought it was really important to kind of spread that message, and that's why I got the costumes," she explained.

In an effort to do just that, Bervaldi-Camaratta went through UPS to ship the priceless pieces up north for an exhibition. The problem is that they never arrived.

Then, just a couple weeks later, she found out the pieces were sold at auction in Kansas City as unclaimed goods.

"What I kept stressing to them was these aren't things that can be replaced," Bervaldi-Camaratta added.

Four of the five costumes have been located in Kansas City, but the white gown from "The Little Princess" remains missing.

UPS told 41 Action News it is "investigating the situation right now and working for a resolution."

In the meantime, the online Shirley Temple community is doing what it can to search for the costumes. Erika Patz, who lives in Overland Park, is one of those fans. She also knows Bervaldi-Camaratta from the auction in Kansas City.

"Just to have something happen like this when she was doing this out of the goodness of her heart, was really hard for any of her friends and any other Shirley Temple fans to swallow," Patz said.

Patz has been posting on social media and calling antique shops to help recover the artifacts. She told 41 Action News without the certificates of authenticity held by Bervaldi-Camaratta, those who purchased the costumes at auction will struggle to sell them.

"These are going to be very hard to sell for good prices on the secondary market. It's a very small community of us collectors, and basically, everyone's aware, the major auction houses are aware," she added.

As the search continues, Bervaldi-Camarotta just hopes she can get the costumes back and continue to share Temple's legacy with the world.

"People have been admiring them and sharing that magic of Shirley Temple, and I just don't want that to end," she said.

If you have any information about the costumes, you can contact Bervaldi-Camaratta at