View full screen - View 1 of Lot 197. [JOSEF VON STERNBERG] | Gold medal presented to Josef von Sternberg by Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation, for Underworld (1927).
197

[JOSEF VON STERNBERG] | Gold medal presented to Josef von Sternberg by Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation, for Underworld (1927)

Estimate:

10,000

to
- 15,000 USD

[JOSEF VON STERNBERG] | Gold medal presented to Josef von Sternberg by Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation, for Underworld (1927)

[JOSEF VON STERNBERG] | Gold medal presented to Josef von Sternberg by Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation, for Underworld (1927)

Estimate:

10,000

to
- 15,000 USD

Property from the Collection of Josef Von Sternberg

[JOSEF VON STERNBERG]

Gold medal presented to Josef von Sternberg by Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation, for Underworld (1927)


18 karat gold medal by Whitehead & Hoag (188.5 dwts). Plain edge, obverse reads: "Presented to Josef von Sternberg by Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation for the direction of Underworld | The first prize Paramount Theatre Picture for the year 1927". Reverse bears the Paramount Pictures logo foregrounded by the Paramount Building at 1501 Broadway, and the text "Paramount Pictures | Publix Theatres". Scattered marks to both sides. Housed in black leather case with velvet and silk lined interior. [with] A bronze Medal of Honor presented to Josef von Sternberg by the Austrian Film Archive, stamped "Ehrenmedaille des österreichischen filmarchivs | Alfred Lacher | Bronze". 


A gold medal presented to film auteur Josef von Sternberg in recognition of the tremendous success of Underworld— alternately described as the first gangster film, and the first film noir


Underworld (1927), was a groundbreaking silent crime film from the Austrian-American director Josef von Sternberg. It was the first of his projects under the auspices of Paramount Pictures, and the enthusiastic reception of audiences catapulted him into overnight fame. In his autobiography the director referred to Underworld as “an experiment in photographic violence and montage." Indeed, the film introduced a number of innovative strategies that would be employed in crime films for decades to come: exploding bank windows, squad cars speeding through dark city streets, and a diffusion of gunfire, smoke, and neon. 


The film's initial release was only slated for one theater, the Paramount Theater in New York, which was quickly forced to arrange all-night screenings to accommodate the crowds of movie-goers. Underworldwould eventually gross $753,000 in the United States alone. In recognition of this success, Paramount gave von Sternberg a $10,000 bonus, and this gold medal. In the years that followed, von Sternberg would apply his stark and stylish sensibility to a series of collaborations with Marlene Dietrich (see following lot), and cement his legacy as one of the first film auteurs. 


The film that established the gangster genre in Hollywood

Condition as described in catalogue entry.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.