Piano featured in the film “Casablanca” goes up for sale
One of the most romantic movie props of all time, the piano from the film Casablanca, is to go up for auction at Sotheby’s New York to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Oscar award-winning film.
The piano used for the song As Times Goes By in the classic 1942 film Casablanca is going up for sale in New York on Dec 14 and the auction house estimates it will fetch up to $1.2 million.
Humphrey Bogart played Rick Blaine in the Oscar-winning World War II love story, opposite Ingrid Bergman’s character, Ilsa Lund.
The 58-key iconic piano was used by the character Sam (Dooley Wilson) as he sings As Time Goes By in the film.
In the famous flashback scene at La Belle Aurore in Paris, Rick, Isla and Sam drink champagne and Bogart utters the line, “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid,” while outside the café loudspeakers announce the imminent arrival of the German army.
It was the first scene filmed by director Michael Curtiz.
Casablanca went on to win three Oscars in 1943, including for Best Picture, with Oscar nominations in five other categories, including Best Score.
David Redden, Vice Chairman of Sotheby’s, said: “It is hard to imagine a more important piece of Hollywood memorabilia. And the piano in Casablanca are the great iconic piece of movie memorabilia from that film,” Redden said.
The piano itself is a surprising green and yellow in colour and very compact in size.
“It would’ve been made as a small, what they call studio piano which could be wheeled from table to table in a café, which is why it’s small as it is. Very compact, made in Los Angeles, probably in the late 1930s,” Redden said.
The piano was first auctioned by Sotheby’s in 1988 to a Japanese collector. According to Sotheby’s, at that time the price paid was one of the highest ever achieved for a movie prop.