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    Claude Rains' Delia Austrian Medal for Darkness at Noon. Perhaps the greatest triumph of Claude Rains' career was his shattering portrayal of Rubashov in Sidney Kingsley's play Darkness at Noon, a dramatic highlight of Broadway's 1950/1951 season. The play co-starred Kim Hunter, Walter (Jack) Palance, Lois Nettleton, and Brian Keith, and Rains' performance was by all accounts overpowering. "On matinee days I'd try to save myself to hold back for the evening performance," Rains remembered, "but it was no use. I'd wring myself out." Among the awards Rains won for his virtuoso portrayal was this wonderful item, the coveted New York Drama League's Delia Austrian Medal. The award's engraved face features a very woeful mask of Tragedy and a rather Jove-like mask of Comedy; the reverse presents three willowy robed women, one of them holding a severed head. Engraved on the face are the words "Claude Rains in Darkness at Noon 1951" while the reverse reads: "The Delia Austrian Medal Awarded by the Drama League of New York For Distinguished Performance." The medal is 2.75" wide and flamboyantly sits in a 4.75"-wide circular wooden base; the medal has come unattached from its original anchor piece but still fits in the base's groove. Incidentally, the Delia Austrian Medal pre-dates Broadway's Tony Award by 12 years; its first recipient in 1935 was Katharine Cornell, while the most recent winner in 2008 was Patti LuPone. This particular award has tarnished over the past 58 years, but it is still most impressive, with a charmingly classical style -- rather like the legendary actor it honored. In Very Fine condition. From the Claude Rains Estate Archive.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    5th-6th Friday-Saturday
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