Leon Shamroy Oscars total $339,941 in online auction


Three Oscars presented to Leon Shamroy for his colour cinematography totalled £339,941 in an online auction which closed yesterday (April 30).


Leon Shamroy Oscar The Black Swan
Leon Shamroy's Oscar for The Black Swan (1942)

The awards were given to Shamroy in the 1940s, representing three of his four Academy Award wins. The fourth award was given for his cinematography work on 1963's Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor, which won a total of nine Oscars that year.

The awards for 1944's Wilson and the 1942 swashbuckler The Black Swan starred as top lots in the sale, with identical sale prices of $116,855.

The two leading lots were followed by 1945's Leave Her to Heaven award, which came in just below the earlier examples at $106,321. Leon Shamroy was noted for his highly artistic style, with his experimental use of lighting seeing him nominated for 18 Academy Awards throughout his career.

Academy Award statues are highly coveted by film collectors, after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences passed a rule in 1950 preventing their sale. The rule ensures that no award can be sold without it first being offered to the Academy for just $1, resulting in the few pre-1950 statues becoming a must-have item for discerning collectors.

Only 3,000 of the iconic statues have been awarded since the Oscars began in 1929. Michael Jackson famously paid $1.54m in 1999 for the best film award presented to David O Selznick for Gone with the Wind, setting a world record price.

Also in the sale was a Rolex watch personally owned by Clark Gable. The 14k gold Oyster Perpetual c. 1940 was acquired from Gable's personal estate and accompanied by two photographs of Gable wearing the watch. A great keepsake from Hollywood's Golden Age, the Rolex sold for $23,116.

Also from Hollywood's Golden Age is this LazerDisc cover of The Graduate, signed by the cast.  Paul Fraser Collectibles is pleased to offer this item from the 1967 hit movie, which was nominated for seven Oscars and won five Golden Globes.

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