News-Antique.com - Aug 05,2011 - DALLAS, TX – A 1942 Academy Award, awarded to Nathan Levinson for his work on the classic musical Yankee Doodle Dandy, brought $89,625 as the top lot in Heritage Auctions’ July 29 Signature® Music & Entertainment Auction. All prices quoted include 19.5% Buyer’s Premium.
“A price realized of almost $90,000 shows just how valuable a thing an Oscar really is,” said Margaret Barrett, Director of Music & Entertainment at Heritage. “It’s obviously rare that an Academy Award comes to auction and we saw collectors respond quite enthusiastically. It was only with the Academy’s blessing that we were able to offer it, so we thank them kindly and offer congratulations to the smart collector that won it.”
Approximately 50 awards are hand-crafted each year by R.S. Owens & Company of Chicago, and as of the recent 84th Academy Awards ceremony, approximately 2,800 Oscars have been awarded. Despite those numbers, only a few have ever surfaced at auction, for a very simple reason: Since 1950, a requirement has existed that stipulates that neither Academy Award winners nor their heirs may sell the statuettes without first offering to sell them back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the sum of $1. If a winner refuses to sign said agreement, the Academy keeps the statuette.
Elvis Presley figured prominently in the July 29 auction, with The King appearing in three of the top eight lots in the event, starting with Elvis’ stage-used 1972 Martin D-28 acoustic guitar, which realized $19,120. Elvis’ personal address/phone book, featuring the addresses and phone numbers of such stars of the time as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Milton Berle and more, was the subject of serious bidding before landing at $13,145, a price nearly equaled by a pair of Elvis’ personal sunglasses, complete with “TCB” logo, which proved quite popular at a final price realized of $11,950.
Much of the pre-auction publicity was focused around The Richard C. Miller Archive, a collection of rare and early images of Marilyn Monroe when she was still Norma Jeane Baker. While the images, many of them being seen for the first time at auction, brought in a respectable average price around $1,500, it was Miller’s Marilyn Monroe signed Norma Jeane Dougherty Model Release Form from 1946 that created the true fireworks from the archive. After spirited bidding the early artifact of Hollywood’s greatest and most tragic starlet finished the day at $19,120, almost three times its pre-auction estimate.
Perhaps no Rock ‘n Roll band is as collectible as The Beatles, a theory consistently proven by Fab Four memorabilia at auction around the world and represented specifically in this auction by a Beatles band-signed magazine spread from the Meet the Beatles magazine of 1963, signed by John, Paul, George and Ringo in black ink next to their respective images, which realized $17,925.
One of the biggest surprises of the auction was the $15,535 final price realized for an original oil painting of a clown by none other than Frank Sinatra,