13:29 26 November 2013
A statuette from John Huston’s film noir masterpiece The Maltese Falcon starring Humphrey Bogart was sold for £4m making it one of the most expensive pieces of film history.
According to Warner Brothers, there were two figurines that were made for the 1941 movie but the one that was auctioned was the only one to appear in the movie.
The Bonhams description listed it as having "some scratches to head and chest, lower right tail feather visibly bent".
It added: "Given the exact visual match to the film, the extensive archival evidence, and the long exhibition history of WB 90067, its authenticity is beyond reproach."
The figurine, which was occasionally exhibited at the Warner Brothers museum, was previously purchased in the 1980s by its previous owner.
The winner of the auction, whose identify was not revealed, also received a DVD copy of the film.
Dr Catherine Williamson, the 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."
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