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The Maltese Falcon sold for $4m

The Maltese Falcon statuette from the 1941 Humphrey Bogart movie of the same name was sold at auction for $4,085,00, including a buyer's premium of $585,000.

The price was at the high end of expert estimates for the piece (Bonhams had declined to offer a pre-sale estimate), making the statuette one of the most expensive pieces of movie and TV memorabilia ever sold at auction.

The original Batmobile No. 1 had sold for $4.6 million and the Aston Martin driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger sold for $4.1 million.

The falcon statuette was one of two made for the movie but the only one known to have appeared on film. According to Bonhams, markings on this statute, particularly a small dent from where the statue was dropped can be matched to the one on film.

"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, " said Catherine Williamson, the Director of the Entertainment Memorabilia Department at Bonhams in a statement.

The piece was owned by an unidentified Calfifornia collector who acquired it in a private sale in the 1980s. The identity of the winning bidder has not been disclosed.

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