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Orson Welles’ ‘Citizen Kane’ Oscar Sells for Nearly $1 Million

The same Oscar failed to sell in 2007 at Sotheby’s

In Hollywood, some dreams are for sale after all. 

Legendary director Orson Welles' Academy Award for "Citizen Kane" was sold at auction on Tuesday for $861,542, according to the Nate D. Sanders auction house.  

Neither the seller's nor the buyer's names were disclosed, but famed magician David Copperfield was the losing bidder to the collector willing to shell out nearly $1 million for the gold statue.

The statue was originally owned by Beatrice Welles, the daughter of the famed director.  

The bidding took place in Los Angeles and bids were received by phone and via the Internet. 

Sotheby’s failed to sell this same Oscar in 2007.The statue was the only Oscar that Welles ever received. 


Read the full news release here: 

One of the most magical pieces of movie memorabilia, Orson Welles' Academy Award for Citizen Kane was sold by Nate D. Sanders today for $861,542, which includes the buyer's premium. Welles received this Award for Best Original Screenplay, which was, incredibly, the only Oscar that either Citizen Kane or Orson Welles received. 

In an exciting auction that included David Copperfield and bidders from around the world, Orson Welles’ Oscar – thought to be lost for decades – achieves the distinction of being one of only a handful of Academy Awards that have sold for nearly a million dollars. The sale has turned heads in the auction community, as Sotheby’s failed to sell this same Oscar in 2007.

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.”

The underbidder, David Copperfield, told the auction house that he was keen to acquire the Oscar, as "Orson Welles was not only a magician of the cinema, but also a performing magician himself." Orson Welles actually hosted Copperfield's first television special and Copperfield owns many of the props from the movie.

The history of Orson Welles’ Oscar is as storied as the life of Charles Foster Kane himself. For decades, Welles’ believed that he had lost his Citizen Kane statuette, however it resurfaced in 1994 and, after a custody battle, was awarded to his daughter, Beatrice Welles. Echoing the theme of Citizen Kane, Orson Welles’ Oscar has now found a permanent home where he will be cherished.