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1942 Oscar Sells for $79,200 at Auction

A rare 1942 Oscar up for auction in East Greenwich sold for $79,200. (Submitted Photo)

This rare 1942 Oscar up for auction in East Greenwich sold for $79,200. (Submitted Photo)
This rare 1942 Oscar up for auction in East Greenwich sold for $79,200. (Submitted Photo)
An Oscar that was awarded to Joseph C. Wright for color art direction in 1942 for his work on "My Gal Sal" sold at auction in East Greenwich for $79,200 to a buyer who will remain anonymous.

Nanci Thompson of Briarbrook Auctions said the statue was sold to someone who's name would be recognizable if it were released.

Early estimates pegged the sale price between $5,000 and $30,000 but it quickly climbed once bidding opened.

The Associated Press reported that the sale includes a 20 percent buyer's premium.

As a veteran art director with over 100 major motion pictures to his credit, Wright won eighteen nominations and two Oscars ( both won in 1942).  His credits include such box office hits as “Guys and Dolls”, “ Porgy and Bess”, “Flower Drum Song”, “Oklahoma”, “My Gal Sal”, and “ Days of Wine and Roses.  The statuette was presented at the 15th. Annual Academy Awards ceremony held March 4, 1943 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Oscar statuettes rarely come up for auction due to a policy enacted in 1950 by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As of 1950, any Oscar recipient was required to sign a contract agreeing that if they (or their heirs) ever desired to sell the Oscar that it must first be offered back to the Academy for the sum of $1.00. So, only Oscars won from 1929 – 1949 can legally be sold. The Oscar was consigned to Briarbrook Auctions by a local Cranston resident who inherited the statuette many years ago from his uncle Joseph Wright. Oscar measures 13 inches high weighs about 6 pounds, and is still in very good condition.

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