Maltese Falcon sells for $4m at auction
The figurine outstripped the price paid for Judy Garland's ruby slippers
A statuette of a bird featured in the classic 1941 film The Maltese Falcon has sold for over $4 million (£2.5 million) at auction in New York.
The auctioned statuette is the only figurine of two made for the film to have appeared in the movie, according to Warner Brothers.
The statuette, which sold for $4,085,000 at Bonhams, has a Warner Brothers inventory number etched into its base and bears the name of the film.
The figurine ranks as one of the most expensive pieces of film memorabilia ever sold at auction, beating the $2 million (£1.2m) paid for Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz in 2012 and the £2.6 million ($4.1 m) paid for the Aston Martin driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger in 2010.
Dr Catherine Williamson, director of the entertainment memorabilia department at Bonhams, said: “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.”
In the 1940's film noir, the statuette features as a ‘priceless’ work of art, which is the cause of several murders, and at one point changes hands for $10,000.
The falcon was previously owned by an unidentified collector from California who acquired it in a private sale in the 1980s.
The identity of the winning bidder, who made the final bid over the phone, has not been disclosed.
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 2 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 3 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew