Sam Simon 'Simpsons' Emmys Auction Blocked ... By the Emmys!

1/25/2016 1:17 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

0125-sam-simon-tmz-01The estate of 'Simpsons' co-creator Sam Simon wants to unload 2 handfuls worth of his Emmys, but the people at the Emmys ain't havin' it ... TMZ has learned.

Simon passed away last year and his foundation listed 10 Emmys -- which he won for "The Simpsons" and "The Tracey Ullman Show" -- through the Abell Auction Company.

They could go for $2,500 - $6,000 each ... however, the Academy of Television says it's the rightful owner of those awards. A rep for the Academy tells us a winner's heirs or successors must "return the statuette to the Academy, and we hold it in storage in memory of the recipient.” Those are the rules.

The Academy broke that news to Simon's estate, and as of Monday morning ... the Emmys have been pulled off the block. 

The auction's still going down February 21 and will include pieces from Sam's art collection, like Picasso lithographs and a mini "Thinker"  -- but your shot at a 'Simpsons' Emmy is officially dead.