An iconic statuette used in John Huston’s classic film noir The Maltese Falcon, has just sold for £2.5 million ($4,05 million). The only figurine of two made for the film was the highlight of Bonhams auction, held on November 25, in conjunction with Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The 45-pound, 12-inch-tall statuette with a Warner Brothers inventory number etched into its base 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.
It was the most important prop in the classic John Huston film, which starred Humphrey Bogart as a private eye dealing with several crooks who covet the bird. In the movie, the Bogart describes the falcon as “The stuff that dreams are made of.”
The statuette has the most impressive exhibition history, including appearances at the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Warner Bros. Studio Museum in Los Angeles.