Mankiewicz Citizen Kane Oscar stars as 'largest trophies sale' nets $3m

It was the biggest collection of Oscar trophies ever sold in one go, and the auction brought significantly more than the expected $2m total.

More than a dozen Oscar statuettes were auctioned in Los Angeles, yesterday (February 28), netting a total of $3m in sales.

Of the 15 statuettes sold, the highest bid went to Herman Mankiewicz's Oscar won in 1941 for his screenplay for Citizen Kane. The award brought $588,455 (£369,556).


Orson Welles Oscar
Oscar statuettes are rarely auctioned

Even more remarkable is that the statuette was previously auctioned by Christie's in 1999 for $244,500. That's an average rise in value of 6.99% per annum.

Yet the LA auction didn't pass without controversy, when Oscars organisers the Academy protested against the sale.

In 1950, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences introduced a rule to prevent Oscar statues from being sold without first being offered back to the Academy for $1.

Herman Mankiewicz's Oscar trophy and the others offered in this sale were handed out before the rule came into place in 1950.

This has ensured that pre-1950-dated Oscar statuettes are especially rare and coveted, making this sale an even bigger deal for collectors.

Prior to this auction, the trophy director Orson Welles won for writing Citizen Kane brought $861,542 (£548,254) last December.

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