The Casablanca piano and a scene from the movie featuring Humphrey Bogart and Dooley Wilson (Photos courtesy: Bonhams)
The iconic salmon-colored piano from the 1942 movie ‘Casablanca’ (picture above) was sold at an auction by Bonhams the other day for $3,413,000. After the 12 percent auctioneer’s commission it comes to $2.9 million.
When you consider that whole film cost $878,000 to make and earned $3.7 million in its initial release, this is an extraordinary price.
This is the piano made memorable by Dooley Wilson’s ‘As Time Goes By’ and in which Rick (Humphrey Bogart) hides the famous transit papers. Incidentally, those transit papers were sold for $118,750. The exterior doors of Rick’s Café Américain fetched $115,000.
The auctioneer did not identify the piano’s buyer.
It is just as well that the other day dear friend and fellow journalist Ashok Easwaran gave me a DVD of the movie which I intend watching for the 2 millionth time over the Thanksgiving weekend. I shall thank the makes of the film.
It is reasonable to say that no one on the movie’s set would have imagined that the piano would become such a Hollywood icon that 72 years after its release, it would be regarded as a highly collectible memorabilia and sold for $3,413,000.
For those interested, here is one of the most cherished scenes from the movie involving the piano.
Dooley Wilson and Humphrey Bogart and the famous piano in ‘Casablanca’
We now know what happens “as time goes by.” At least, objects become more coveted.