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    Richard Day's Academy Award for This Above All (1942), One of the Last Oscars Available To Be Resold. One of the most recognizable Hollywood icons is a little fellow named Oscar. For decades, these statuettes have been the Holy Grails of writers, directors, actors, producers, and technicians, a symbol of the ultimate achievement in their field. Approximately 40 awards are hand-crafted each year by R. S. Owens & Company of Chicago, and as of the 81st Academy Awards ceremony held last year, a total of 2,744 Oscars have been awarded. Despite the sheer number that have been produced and handed out, only a few have circulated amongst collectors of Hollywood memorabilia, for a very simple reason: Since 1950, a requirement has existed that stipulates that neither Academy Award winners nor their heirs may sell the statuettes without first offering to sell them back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the sum of $1. If a winner refuses to sign said agreement, the Academy keeps the statuette. A 2007 Forbes article suggests that only an approximate 150 statuettes have ever been sold; often, the buyer returns the award to the Academy, which stores them in its vaults.
    This particular Academy First Award for Best Black and White Art Direction was one of two presented to legendary art director Richard Day on March 4, 1943, at the 15th ceremony. (He was also honored that night with an award for Best Art Direction -- Interior Decoration, Color for My Gal Sal.) They were his 12th and 13th nominations -- in a lifetime total of 20 -- and fourth and fifth wins. The immensely talented Day had previously been awarded for Dark Angel, Dodsworth, and How Green Was My Valley, and would win again in 1952 for A Streetcar Named Desire and in 1954 for On the Waterfront. Because it was awarded prior to 1950, it is one of the few Academy Awards to be exempted from the Academy's no-sale rule, and is one of the last Oscars awarded that is still able to be resold.
    Made of gold-plated britannium on a black metal base, the statuette stands 13.5", weighs 8.5 lbs., and depicts an Art Deco-style male figure holding a sword and standing upon a reel of film, a design recognized worldwide. The statuette is in Fine to Very Fine condition with moderate tarnishing and dulling of the surface, and some areas of mild wear, but still solidly mounted to its base. This is a rare opportunity to own an award that's as coveted by collectors as it is by the Hollywood elite.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    5th-6th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 11,351

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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