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Oscar statuette from 1942 sets a record for auction house

Oscar Statuette From 1942 Sets New Record For Auction House

Most people get an Academy Award by winning one -- but apparently, you can buy one, too ... if you have $80,000 on hand.

Briarbrook Auctions in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, sold an Oscar won by Joseph C. Wright in 1942 for best art direction for $79,200 on Monday night, more than double its original estimate.

See the 1942 Oscar statuette, as well as memorable Oscar moments from the past

Auctioneer Nanci Thompson spotted the Oscar while visiting the home of Wright's nephew to look at other items.

"I saw something out of the corner of my eye and I said to him, 'Is that what I think it is?'" Thompson told WPRI.

The figure set a new sales record for the auction house, helped in large part due to out-of-house bidders. Some in-house bidders attempted to snag the trophy, but it ultimately came down to bids online and over the phone.

WNAC reports "some very powerful names that I wish I could share with you, but I can't. But you would know who they are."

A phone bid from California won the auction. The bidder paid $79,200, which includes a 20 percent buyer's premium, according to ​WJAR.

Oscars rarely come to market because every Oscar winner since 1950 has been required to sign a contract saying if they or their heirs wish to sell an Oscar, it must first be offered back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for $1, ​according to The Providence Journal.

Wright's Oscar was fair game because it was awarded before 1950. Wright won two Oscars for art direction: the one that sold at auction for 1942's "My Gal Sal" and another for "This Above All" the same year.

Join the discussion

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spdy65 June 24 2014 at 3:43 PM

I thought they were illegal to sell or something like that? They had to be returned if the family no longer wanted them? There is some kind of restriction that goes along with discarded Oscar's.

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Kathy spdy65 June 24 2014 at 4:20 PM

You did not read the entire article.
Winners AFTER 1950 have to sign a waiver.
This Oscar was won BEFORE 1950 (1942).

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Renga June 24 2014 at 4:30 PM

Lot of money for such a minor win.

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1 reply
myroguisheyes Renga June 24 2014 at 4:41 PM

Back then, art direction meant something. Lighting and scenery were a important as the stars in the films. The scene had to be set for the story to play out. Also, many of the films of that era were still shot in black and white, every nuance and shadow counted.

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oujoou June 24 2014 at 4:39 PM

If you own one . . . I guess you ARE an Oscar winner. Took me a second to realize that. Wow. NJ to whomever. :) I think most would prefer the story. The drama. The people you had to let have their way with you on the way to the top. I imagine it's no different in the world of art direction. HA HA :)

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Blanche June 24 2014 at 5:01 PM

The dollar has lost all value thanks to the wealthy that don't know the value of it.

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civetta June 24 2014 at 7:16 PM

You must be really hard up for cash to part with something like that.

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1 reply
joe civetta June 25 2014 at 9:22 AM

Most people who earn an Oscar are not "hard up for cash" after they drop dead.

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henryusmale June 25 2014 at 1:09 AM

A fool, and their money are soon parted.

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allnightradioman June 25 2014 at 4:34 AM

Do Not Buy From Amazon! They are now raising prices on items a little bit every hour!!!

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libsfault June 25 2014 at 4:35 AM

Meanwhile these same idiots whine about the starving in Africa

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meanstr June 25 2014 at 9:22 AM

What do you want with some one esles award for something ,what are you going to do try to tell people you got it.

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