1949 Oscar sells for $65,725

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James Dean's "Lucky" screen-worn pocket watch from East of Eden made $59,750

One of the last awarded Oscars that can be legally sold generated strong competition among bidders and was purchased for $65,725 in a public auction of music and entertainment memorabilia conducted by Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas. The auction realized $1,026,521 for 998 lots offered, although after-auction sales are still ongoing. A final session associated with this auction, held on Monday, April 7 and featuring 152 lots, realized an additional $26,247, for an overall total of $1,052,768.

“The Academy has prohibited winners of these coveted, golden statues awarded since 1950 from selling them in the secondary market, so this award for Best Documentary Short Subject of 1949 was one of the last Oscars that can be sold. There was spirited floor bidding going against the phone bidding for this item, and after the hammer came down, the audience erupted in spontaneous applause. The $65,725 winning bid testifies to the rarity and desirability of these iconic awards,” said Doug Norwine of Heritage.

“Another big winner in this auction was the set of four Beatles’ autographs on a piece of Elvis Presley’s personal stationery from his Bel Aire, Calif., home. It’s a tangible memento of the Aug. 27, 1965, meeting between these rock and roll legends. The autographed stationery sold for $59,750.”

James Dean’s signed registration form for the race the young actor was heading toward when he lost his life in a September 1955 car crash was purchased for $23,900. On the music side, a pair of brown suede fringed boots worn by Jimi Hendrix realized $21,510, while a black wool jacket owned and worn by the influential guitarist sold for $17,925.

The Jed Clampett character “Sunday best” costume worn by Beverly Hillbillies television series star, Buddy Ebsen, sold for $7,170; his battered Uncle Jed hat brought $2,629; and an assortment of three of his prop mustaches went for $2,031.

“This was a very strong auction,” said Norwine, “with bidders competing fiercely for these historic and one-of-a-kind items. From screen-used props to prestigious awards to celebrity personal items, every category was marked by strong interest and aggressive bidding.

Other highlights: A Meet the Beatles moving head window display (Capitol, 1964) garnered $15,535.

Lenny Bruce documents and recordings archive realized  $11,950; a group of Elvis Presley Sun 45 records also made $11,950.

The Midnighters’ 10-inch LP of their greatest hits (Federal 295-90, 1954) was won for $9,560

Heritage’s next Music, Hollywood, and Celebrity Memorabilia auction will be held in Dallas and online on Oct. 4-5, 2008.

For more information on this or other Heritage auctions, or to reserve your copy of any Heritage auction catalog, contact Client Services at 800-872-6467, extension 1150, or visit www.HA.com.

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Gone With the Wind screen-used armchair realized $23,900
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Gone With the Wind screen-used armchair.

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