The Oscar that Joan Crawford won for her performance in “Mildred Pierce” fetched $ 68,500 at auction Saturday, becoming only the third Academy Award publicly sold, a spokesman for Christie’s said.

“The Crawford Academ y Award is the first major Oscar awarded to a true Hollywood film legend ever to be offered at auction,” said Josh Arfer, head of Christie’s collectibles department.

Crawford’s Oscar, which was expected to bring only $ 8,000 to $ 12,000, was sold to an unidentified private collector after heated bidding.

“There were 15 hands in the air and at least four people on the phone bidding ,” said Todd Merrill, a spokesman for Christie’s.

An Oscar, won by Harold Russell for the “Best Years of Our Lives,” was sold on Aug. 6, 1992. That Oscar, for best supporting actor, sold for $ 57,000 in 1992, said Arfer.

Another Oscar, won by John Lennon for best song score for “Let it Be,” sold on Oct. 5, 1992, for $ 110,000, at the Herman Darvick auction house, Darvick said.

Christie’s would not say who was the beneficiary of the sale of the Oscar and other items from the estate of Crawford, who died in 1977 at age 73. The collection also included private letters, photographs and some articles of clothing:

o Her gloves and handkerchiefs, which were expected to sell for $ 50, sold for $ 805.

o Monogrammed paper napkins, expected to fetch $ 100, went for $ 747.

o Six scarves, expected to sell for $ 100, went for $ 2,530.

o A collection of correspondence, which included letters from Katharine Hepburn, Noel Coward, Glenn Ford, Barbara Stanwyck, Helen Hayes, Alfred Hitchcock and Mary Pickford, went for $ 8,280. It was forecast to fetch $ 3,000.

o A photograph of Judy Garland, signed “Joan dear — with all my love, Judy,” sold for $ 2,185. Its pre-auction estimate was $ 300.

o Her copy of the “Mildred Pierce” script, expected to bring $ 200 to $ 400, sold for $ 7,475.