Citizen Kane Oscar Sells for $861,000

The only Oscar ever awarded to Citizen Kane and its director Orson Welles went under the hammer on Tuesday, selling for $861,542.

The ten-inch statuette was awarded to Citizen Kane for Best Original Screenplay back in 1941. In the seven decades since it was released, the film has become recognized as a landmark in movie-making. The unbelievable fact this was the only Oscar it won no doubt increased the award’s value.

The identity of the buyer and seller were both kept a secret, but we do know who just missed out: magician David Copperfield was beaten into second place by the winning bidder at the Nate D. Sanders auction house in LA. The statue was originally owned by Beatrice Welles, daughter of the legendary director.

The same Oscar went up for auction in 2007 at Sotheby’s in London, but failed to meet a $1 million reserve price. On this week’s sale, auction house owner Nate D. Sanders said:

“This is a testament to the popularity of Orson Welles and his magnum opus Citizen Kane. I’m proud to have represented this fantastic Award to the cinema collecting community.”

So is this the most expensive piece of movie memorabilia ever? Not quite, though it’s the most paid for an Academy Award. Some other pricey movie collectibles (courtesy of Business Insider) include:

The Aston Martin from Goldfinger
Price: $4.1 million

The car driven by Elvis in the movie Spinout
Price: $1.2 million

Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Price: $923,187

The Cowardly Lion costume from The Wizard of Oz
Price: $805,000

The original poster from Metropolis
Price: $690,000

The ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz
Price: $660,000

The Starship Enterprise used in Star Trek: The Next Generation
Price: $576,000

The flying car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Price: $505,000

The Terminator T-800 outfit from Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Price: $488,750