No Sale For Marie Antoinette's Pearls or Orson's Oscar
Both Christie's and Sotheby's had auctions this week with some very important items that failed to sell. Perhaps the last few weeks before the Christmas holiday is not the best time to hold big auctions, although certainly either one of these items could have made a once-on-a-lifetime present.
The only Oscar given to Orson Welles, the one for writing Citizen Kane, did not receive a suitable bid and Sotheby's pulled it off the auction block. All offers were well below the minimum price set by the seller. It was hoped that the Oscar would sell for between $800,000 and $1.2 million, raising money for the Dax Foundation, a Los Angeles-based charitable group. The statuette may now be sold privately. A screenplay of Citizen Kane did bring in $97,000.
For Christie's it was a set of historic pearls that turned out not to sell. The pearls which had been given by Marie Antoinette to a British countess for safekeeping after she was imprisoned during the French Revolution, did not sell during the Christie's Magnificent Jewels sale on Wednesday. The pearls, which were later set into a necklace containing rubies and diamonds, were estimated to sell for up to $815,000.