DAVENPORT, Wash. – An Oscar® statuette awarded in 1936 to acclaimed art director Richard Day led the lineup of Hollywood memorabilia sold by Grant Zahajko Auctions on October 10, capturing a winning bid of $50,000. The Oscar® was the most highly prized item in the personal collection of the late Robert Osborne, best known as the quietly authoritative host of Turner Classic Movies (TCM).
The Oscar® was awarded to Richard Day for his work on the 1935 film The Dark Angel, starring Fredric March and Merle Oberon. Day was nominated for 20 Academy Awards® between the years 1930 and 1970, and won seven, including Best Art Direction for A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and On the Waterfront (1954).
“We were honored to represent the heirs of Robert Osborne and to be able to bring an Oscar to the marketplace,” said Grant Zahajko, owner of Grant Zahajko Auctions in Davenport, Washington. “The sale of Oscars is strictly controlled by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and it’s always exciting for collectors when they have an opportunity to bid on one.” The buyer of the Oscar® statuette has chosen to remain anonymous.
Book containing 383 autographs of Oscar® winners and other stars hits $12,500
Another key item in the collection was Robert Osborne’s personal copy of the 1979 book he authored, 50 Golden Years of Oscar®: The Official History of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (above). For decades, Osborne sought and secured the autographs of Oscar®-winning stars at red carpet and other media events. The autographs were signed on pages specific to the films for which the stars had won their awards. The book contained no fewer than 383 signatures and sold for $12,500.
In spite of a snowstorm that passed through the Spokane area the day before the auction, the gallery event was very well attended and attracted heavy bidding online via LiveAuctioneers. Many collectors reveled in the Osborne collection’s abundance of rare movie studio publicity stills, including a photo of Hollywood’s first Chinese-American film star, Anna May Wong (above), which sold for $1,000. A fully authenticated, autographed photo of Babe Ruth (below) from the 1942 film The Pride of the Yankees commanded a winning bid of $11,250.
Part II of the Robert Osborne collection will be auctioned on November 7. To contact Grant Zahajko Auctions for comment or to enquire about future auctions, call 509-725-5600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Online: www.gzauctions.com.