How much would you be willing to pay to own a piece of film history? Well, on December 14th someone will have a chance to give their answer, as the iconic piano from Casablanca goes up for auction. The Paris piano was used in the scene where Sam (Dooley Wilson) plays the piano and sings As Time Goes By, the love serenade for Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) and Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart).
In 1988 the piano broke auction records, becoming the most expensive movie prop ever sold when a Japanese collector bought it for $154,000. Now that collector is through with his time owning the piano and he’s putting it up for auction through Sotheby’s.
Sotheby’s vice chairman David Redden spoke to USA Today about the piano. Check out his comment below.
Seeing the piano like this is a bit of a revelation, because in the movie it’s in black and white, and here we are we see green and yellow and all sorts of things. But it’s as it appeared in the movie except now it’s in living color. How can anything say ’I love you’ better than the piano from Casablanca?
The scene featuring the piano was actually the first scene filmed, setting the tone for the rest of production. Though it probably doesn’t play quite as it used to, it’d still be an incredible addition to any wealthy film enthusiast’s collection.
This auction is happening during the 70th anniversary of the film and it is estimated to sell for between $800,000 and $1.2 million dollars.
What do you think of this iconic piano going up for sale. If you had the money would you bid on this Casablanca prop? And if so, how much would you be willing to spend to own this piece of film history? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.