Working Draft of Orson Welles’s Script for ‘Citizen Kane’ to Be Auctioned
By ALLAN KOZINN
Detail from the final page of the manuscript to be auctioned at Sotheby’s.
The script, by Welles, Herman J. Mankiewicz and John Houseman, was part of the collection of Stanley J. Seeger, a reclusive collector of art and other artifacts, who died in 2011. Sotheby’s lists an estimate of 15,000 pounds to 20,000 pounds (about $25,000 to $33,000).
The typed script is described in the Sotheby’s catalog as the second draft, with markings and deletions in pencil and pink crayon, and runs 229 pages, including the original script and several additions. The notation “Mr. Welles’s Working Copy” is written twice on the cover — once, underscored, across the top center, and once with the director’s name spelled “Wells,” in the upper right corner. It is dated April 30 to May 9, 1940. The lot includes a blue collector’s box, along with a modern photocopy of the fourth draft (marked “final”) dated June 18, 1940.
The working script is missing the final four pages, which presumably include a notation about a sled being thrown into a furnace — but if you’re enough of a “Citizen Kane” fan to want to own the second draft, you probably know all about it.
The cover of the script.