January 7, 2014
That handsome devil in the photo, above, is Humphrey Bogart, holding the lead statue from The Maltese Falcon, the 1941 film in which he starred. The statue, one of two made for the film, but the only one that actually appeared in the movie, recently sold at Bonhams in New York for $4,085,000, including the $585,000 buyer's premium. According to Bonhams, markings on the statue -- particularly a small dent from where the statue was dropped -- can be matched to the one on film.
The price paid for this statue ranks among the highest ever paid for a piece of movie memorabilia. It trails the price achieved by the original Batmobile from the 1960s TV show, which sold for $4.6 million, and the Aston Martin driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger, which sold for $4.1 million.
"The spectacular price achieved reflects the statuette's tremendous significance. The Maltese Falcon is arguably the most important movie prop ever and is central to the history of cinema," Catherine Williamson, the director of the Bonhams entertainment memorabilia department, said in a statement.
The identities of both the seller and the winning bidder have not been disclosed.