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.