The best director Oscar of late Michael Curtiz that he won for the classic movie ‘Casablanca’ is reportedly being put up for auction. According to Nate D. Sanders, the auctioneer, the Oscar may net from $2.5 million to $3 million.
The Academy Award was won by the late Hungary native in 1943 and will be put up for auction on June 28. Online bidding for the Oscar started last week and has already surpassed its reserve price, which was not revealed by the Los Angeles auction company.
The classic movie, which was set in World War 2, starred Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and is considered as the most enduring romance movies in US cinema. It was also named as the third best film of the century by the American Film Institute in 2007.
In 2003, the Oscar was sold to David Copperfield by Christie’s for $231,000 although the latest seller was not named by the auction house. Sanders indicated that the last decade saw an increase in the Academy Awards market.
Sanders said that in some instances, Oscars have appreciated to a significant degree particularly for the best movies of the Golden Age of Hollywood. This reportedly happens often in the art market, where the prices of the best items increase the fastest.
Following an agreement between the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the winners in 1950, Oscar statuettes are rarely auctioned off. The agreement banned the sale of the Oscars by the winners to anyone except for the Academy at a nominal fee of $1.
However a number of Oscars won before the 1950s have been put up for auction recently. The Oscar of Orson Welles for the screenplay of ‘Citizen Kane’ was sold by Nate D. Sanders last December for $861,000 while the Oscar for best picture for ‘Gone With The Wind’ was also sold in 1999 to the late Michael Jackson for $1.54 million.
Oscars for these movie classics are typically priced high since they are considered as the best among memorabilia for the Golden Age of Hollywood.