The piano from the classic Casablanca sold for $600,000 at auction over the weekend, though that closing price was roughly half of the estimate of the amount it was thought it would get. Earlier, experts had expected the white and blue upright to go from anywhere between $800,000 and $1.2 million.
Not just a prop for Dooley Wilson’s piano-playing character Sam to sit behind, the piano played an important role in the film, serving as a hiding place for Humphrey Bogart’s character to stash valuable “Letters of Transit” that would enable Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid to escape pursuing Nazis. Additionally, Wilson played the film’s classic song “As Time Comes By” on it, a piano piece which has garnered a very positive and amazing review from MusicCritic.com.
The piano was put up for auction by a Japanese collector who purchased it for $154,000 at a Sotheby’s auction in 1988.
I have to say that I am a bit surprised that the piano sold for as low as it did. This past summer the Oscar Michael Curtiz won for directing Casablanca went for $2 million at auction.
Via Hollywood Reporter.