Oscar fetches big bucks at auction

This Academy Award from 1942 is set to be auctioned off in East Greenwich, RI June 23, 2014. (Photo: Brian Yocono/WPRI 12)

EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — History was made Monday night in East Greenwich as a 1942 Oscar sold for 72,900.00 inclusive of buyer’s premium.

The Varnum Armory was packed for the auction, which was held by Briarbrook Auctions.

Bids were received in-house but the auction ultimately came down to bids online and over the phone.

The six pound statue was won by Joseph Wright for Best Color Art Direction for the film “My Gal Sal.” The auction could be viewed online, but only in-house guests could see the trophy in person.

“It’s somewhat unfair but all the auctioneers are doing it and the reason is it brings more money. So, at the end of the day, they’re happy to take the phone bids because if they had to depend on someone in the room, it probably would have sold for a fraction of that,” said John Devine, Owner of Water Street Auctions.

Auctioneer Nanci Thompson was hoping the trophy would fetch at least $40,000 and the bids far exceeded her expectations.

“It was just so exciting. I feel like I won an Oscar myself. It was just such a thrill to be able to sell it,” said Thompson.

Briarbrook Auctions expects a wire transfer from the seller within the next three days. Experts say the buyer will likely hire a courier service to deliver the Oscar. The buyer of the piece remains confidential.

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