June 2012 Auction Ends Thursday, June 28th, 5pm Pacific
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on: 6/28/2012 6:46:00 PM

Lot #253: Orson Welles Screen-Used Trophy From ''Citizen Kane'' -- the Iconic Trophy That Orson Welles Holds During the Film, Symbolizing the Height of Kane's Power & Ambition -- Measures 1.5 Feet Tall


The rarest and most spectacular of all "Citizen Kane" props, the silver-plated trophy presented to Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane, which he holds in the critical scene upon his return from Europe, flush from acquiring diamonds and his first wife. This trophy is the singular one manufactured for the film (unlike the Rosebud sled, of which three were made), thus guaranteeing its use in the film, held by Welles himself as Kane. The trophy was given to Kane by the employees of his newspaper, which grew from a handful when Kane acquired the near-bankrupt "Inquirer," to 467 at this point in the film. Trophy is engraved, "Welcome Home / Mr. Kane / From / 467 Employees / of the / New York / Inquirer". Of course, this trophy also highlights the lack of real journalistic achievement by Kane's tabloid newspaper, and rather the heaps of praise bestowed upon him by employees and sycophants. The scene in which it first appeared was considered so crucial to the film and so difficult to execute that Gregg Toland, "Citizen Kane's" Oscar-winning cinematographer, considered it the proudest achievement of his career. The trophy appears once more in the film, at the end with Kane's other possessions at Xanadu. In this scene, Jerry Thompson, the reporter, and Raymond, Kane’s butler, talk about the meaning of Rosebud while standing over the trophy; they even read the wording on the trophy during this scene. Silver-plated loving cup trophy measures a very impressive 17.5" tall and 16.75" wide, with scrolling leaf-clad handles and scrolling base, manufactured by the Barbour Silver Company. Though "Citizen Kane" is widely considered the greatest film of all time (having won “Best Film of the Decade” for two decades by both the AFI and BFI), it only won one Academy Award for screenwriting -- a consequence of William Randolph Hearst's blacklisting in his theatres. Its popularity and significance has steadily risen since its release in 1941, a time when movie studios retained very few of their movie props. As a result, only a handful of "Citizen Kane" props have come to market, with almost all of them from the final warehouse scene at Xanadu and having no significance to the film's plot. This trophy, along with the Rosebud sleds and the snow globe (which has never been available and is considered lost or broken) are the handful of important props in the film. It is truly the most magnificent "Citizen Kane" screen-used prop one could ever hope to own, from the Golden Age of Hollywood that included such films as “Casablanca” and “Gone With the Wind.” Previous Christie's auction provenance is also included. Some silver tarnishing to the trophy, and light wear, but overall in near fine condition.

The only two Academy Awards won by "Citizen Kane" (for Best Original Screenplay co-awarded to Orson Welles and Herman Mankiewicz) sold at Nate D. Sanders Auctions for $861,542 and $588,455. Several other "Citizen Kane" lots are included in this auction including memorabilia related to the trophy cup.
Final Bid (Includes Buyers Premium):$275,544
Minimum Bid:$1,000
Number of Bids:23