The Gold Knight: Bidding on an OscarWritten by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | firstname.lastname@example.org
How much is an Oscar worth? Some might say priceless. Others, a million bucks (An Investor’s Guide to the Oscars). One statuette fetched nearly $90,000 at the end of July.
On July 29, an unidentified buyer bid $89,625.00 for an 1942 Oscar statuette. Buying an Oscar is a rare occurrence since an Academy rule created in 1950 requires winners to sign an agreement stating they will not sell an Oscar without first offering to sell it back to the Academy for $1.Lot 46076 at the July Dallas Signature Music and Entertainment Auction was an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording, given to Nathan Levinson for “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” The auction, hosted by Heritage Auction, had eight Internet/mail/phone bidders, according to its website. Almost 800 items were up for bid, according to Reuters, including guitars owned by Elvis Presley. A 1946 Marilyn Monroe — signed as Norma Jeane Dougherty — model release form sold for $19,120. Another awards trophy, an MTV VMA Award to Pearl Jam’s Dave Abbruzzese, sold for $7,170.
While $90,000 may seem like a lot of money for some, it’s chunk change compared to what other Oscars have fetched.
A decade ago, in July of 2001, Steven Spielberg purchased Bette Davis’ Best Actress Oscar for $578,000 at the auction house Christie’s. Davis won the statuette for her role in 1938’s “Jezebel” and the golden Oscar was valued between $150,000 and $200,000. Spielberg planned to give the Oscar back to the Academy, which is what he did after purchasing Clark Gable’s Best Actor Oscar for “It Happened One Night” for $607,500 in 1996.
Legend has it that Davis, who died in 1987, coined the term “Oscar” for the Academy Award after she said that its bottom resembled that of her husband, Harmon Oscar Nelson.
Toledo Free Press Lead Designer James A. Molnar blogs about all things Oscar at TheGoldKnight.com.