The iconic Maltese Falcon Sells for a lot!

The Bonhams and TCM movie memorabilia auction happened today and there was a lot of action.  There were items from assorted movies across history, from the late 20’s to the 90’s.  The highlight of the auction was the Maltese Falcon, which went for a cool 3.5 million dollars.  With premium fees, Bonhams lists the item as sold for around 4 million dollars.  That’s US.  Dollars.  For a little statue.  Of a falcon.

Here are some other highlights:


1.  The 1940 Buick Phaeton from Casablanca was on the auction block and sold for 461,000 dollars, including fees.  You can see this car at the end of the movie.  There were only around 200 made and I believe this was a limited edition.

2.  One of the saddles used by Kevin Costner in the movie Dances with Wolves sold for 3500 dollars.  It was estimated at 4000 to 6000 dollars, so I’m not sure why it did not reach its estimate.   It was quite worn and maybe interest in the movie has waned.

3.  The poster for Underworld (aka Paying the Penalty) sold for 2000 dollars against an estimate of 1000 to 1500 dollars.  This 1927 movie was released in only one movie theatre and is known as the first gangster flick.  It is still remembered by some, but not me.  I didn’t even know why people wanted this poster, but since the film was rare, I suppose there are few items remaining of this old picture.

4.  A suit jacket worn by Basil Rathbone in The Hound of the Baskervilles went for 11,000, slightly under the estimate.  A suit worn by Richard Greene from the same movie went for 1,300 dollars.  Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes will always be an iconic and memorable role and I was not surprised to see these two items sell.  Rathbone’s jacket was the typical grey tweed worn by Holmes in the movies and is a good prize, although I’m not sure what I would do with such a thing if I owned it.

5.  Perhaps spurned on the Falcon itself, the original screenplay of The Maltese Falcon, written by John Huston, went for 22,000 dollars.  This is way over the estimate of 10 to 12,000.  I believe that since it was an original draft and written by Huston himself, this script could have more value than others.  There were other scripts of other movies in the auction, but none reached the pricey total this one fetched.

inchair6.  Sam Spade’s chair from The Maltese Falcon did not reach its reserve of 150,000 dollars and did not sell.  You can see Mary Astor rocking in the chair in the middle of the movie and it definiately might be quite a prop to have.  Maybe it was overpriced.  I’m not sure why no one wanted a chair Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor sat in, but they’d spend all kinds of money on a script instead.  It’s a new mystery. You can see the chair in the picture to the left.

7.  Some replica Ruby Slippers sold for 35,000 dollars.  Sorta ridiculous actually.

8.  One of Clark Cable’s personal wrist watches from back in the day sold for 28,750, including fees.

9.  The Marilyn Monroe high school yearbook sold for 1,187 dollars.  Not sure why.

10.  Perhaps the only nottable Marilyn item I thought was interesting was a signed photograph of Marilyn and Joe DiMaggio.  It was from 1954 and shows them walking together.  Both of them look happy and this must have been taken when they were together.  Their marriage only lasted nine months.  The 4×5 photo still exists though and sold for 4,375 dollars.  Irony!

11.  The Le Mans jacket worn by Steve McQueen I mentioned in another post failed to sell.  I guess the movie sucked after all.