Oscar awarded in 1942 auctions off for $79,200

By Waleed Khalidi,

At an auction in Rhode Island, an Oscar awarded in 1942 brought in much more than expected, at $79,200.

Briarbrook Auctions expected the item to sell for $5,000 to $30,000, but the online bidding had already reached $32,000 hours before the auction began, according to Fox News.

The Oscar was awarded to Joseph C. Wright for color art direction for the film My Gal Sal. Wright also won an Oscar that same year for black-and-white art direction for This Above All.

After Wright's death in 1985, his nephew inherited the statue and now put it up for auction.

"Oscars are quite a rare commodity," Nanci Thompson, owner of Briarbrook Auctions, told Reuters, the Chicago Tribune reports. "There just aren't many around."

In 1950, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences began making winners of the award sign an agreement saying that before they attempt to sell the statue, they must first offer it back to the academy for $1. The auction was investigated by the academy beforehand, but the rule doesn't apply in this case, due to the Oscar being awarded in 1942.

Thompson did not disclose the name of the buyer, who requested to remain anonymous. However, the auction house owner did say that the name is recognizable.

"I can tell you that the Oscar is going back to California," she said, the Chicago Tribune reports.

So who is the new mystery owner of a 72-year-old award for color art direction?



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