The Oscar statuette awarded to filmmaker Orson Welles for Citizen Kane, routinely voted the best movie of all time, failed to find a buyer at Sotheby's auction house in New York on Tuesday.
The best screenplay award, which carried a pre-sale estimate of 800,000 to 1.2 million dollars, was presented to Welles in 1941 and believed to have been lost by the writer, director and actor before resurfacing in 1994.
Welles' 156-page personal working copy of the script for the film however managed to sell for 97,000 dollars, broadly in line with expectations.
Citizen Kane was Welles' first feature, made when he was just 25 years old. Considered a masterpiece of cinema, it has been voted the top film in history by both the American and British Film Institutes.
The film -- which did poorly at the box office and failed to win a nomination for best picture -- tells the story of a newspaper magnate bent on supremacy and is thought to be based on US press baron William Randolph Hearst.
Despite receiving Oscar nominations for best screenplay, best director and best leading actor for Citizen Kane, the writing award was the only Oscar awarded to Welles throughout his life.
The statuette was being sold by the Dax Foundation, a US charitable foundation, which acquired the golden statuette from the Welles estate.