Maltese Falcon statuette auctions for $4m at Bonhams New York

The iconic statuette used onscreen in the classic 1941 film The Maltese Falcon has auctioned for $4m at Bonhams New York.

The prop headlined a significant sale of Hollywood props titled: What Dreams Are Made Of: A Century of Movie Magic at Auction as Curated by Turner Home Movies.

Maltese Falcon statuette bonhams

The statuette has been exhibited in a number of institutions

Two figurines exist, but the example that sold in the sale is the only one confirmed by Warner Brothers as having appeared onscreen. The inventory number is etched into the base, along with the name of the film.

It has been exhibited widely since it was privately purchased by its consignor in the 1980s.

The other example sold for $380,500 in 1994 before selling again for around $1m in 1997 - equating to a return of 35.9% pa.

In the film the statuette is thought to be a priceless treasure, tied to a number of murders across the ages and sought by thieves, which ultimately turns out to be made of lead.

Humphrey Bogart stars as San Francisco detective Sam Spade, who becomes entangled in the mysterious case.

It is thought to have been based on the Kniphausen Hawk - a jewel studded drinking vessel created in 1697 for George William Von Kniphausen, a count of the Holy Roman Empire.

The 1940 Buick Phaeton 81C convertible from the movie Casablanca (1942) made $461,000.

The car features in the immortal final act of the film, as Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and Isla Lund (Ingrid Bergman) drive to the airport at gunpoint.

The ending takes place next to the idling Buick, as Bogart delivers perhaps his most iconic line: "Here's looking at you kid".

The car has 42,000 miles on the clock and has been mechanically restored, although no restorations have been carried out since 1995.

We have a pair of jodhpurs worn onstage by Humphrey Bogart in 1932.

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