Oscar statue from 1940s fetches $89,625 in Dallas auction

Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:39pm EDT
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By Marice Richter

DALLAS (Reuters) - If you can't win an Oscar, why not buy one?

That's exactly what an avid movie buff did when a golden statue from the 1942 Academy Awards went up for auction on Friday.

A coveted collectible since Oscars are rarely for sale, the statue fetched $89,625, making it the star of bidding at Heritage Auction's movie and music auction in Dallas.

Nearly 800 items were up for bid, including items owned or worn by celebrities such as Elton John, Michael Jackson and Paul Newman, and guitars owned by Elvis Presley.

Heritage declined to release the identities of buyers. The company hosts auctions throughout the year, including a recent auction of dinosaur bones and an upcoming John Wayne auction in Los Angeles.

The Oscar statue was a rare item to turn up for sale, said Margaret Barrett, director of music and entertainment for Heritage Auctions.

A rule adopted in 1950 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences prohibits Academy Award winners or their heirs from selling a statue without first offering it back to the academy for a price of $1.

This Oscar, presented before that rule was enacted, was won by Nathan Levinson for best sound recording for the 1942 film Yankee Doodle Dandy.   Continued...