25 July 2003
ORSON WELLES TAILCOAT FROM "CITIZEN KANE"
A tailcoat worn by Orson Welles as he portrayed Charles Foster Kane in his first, and arguably best, film role. Made of navy-blue wool with a cut-away front, peaked lapels, and a large 'K' embroidered on either cuff (most of Kane's clothes displayed this single-initial monogram), this piece is evident in the 'mad clapping' scene at the opera when Kane stands up to cheer after the bad performance of his wife, Susan Alexander, as portrayed by Dorothy Comingore. (Please note the cuffs have telltale 3 1/2 inch decorative slits which can be seen in the film and in stills.) A Western Costume Company label with handwritten notations reading Orson Welles/(Chest) 41 1/2/#20 as well as a typed reference number of 25490 is sewn in the inside breast pocket and a Western Costume Company stamp is evident on the lining of right arm.
The only other costume piece from "Citizen Kane" offered at auction was the jacket Orson Welles wears in the scene when he celebrates hiring the staff of the competitor's newspaper. It was sold in the July 17, 1994 Butterfield & Butterfield (Los Angeles) auction titled "Western Costume 'Star Collection' Part II;" Sale 6081B, Lot 100, Page 32 of that catalogue; final price realized was $10,750.
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