NEW YORK – A statuette of a bird featured in the classic 1941 detective thriller “The Maltese Falcon” is being auctioned in New York City.
The black figurine is one of two known cast lead statuettes made for John Huston’s screen version of the film, but the only one confirmed by Warner Bros. archives as having appeared in the movie, according to Bonhams auction house, which declined to provide a pre-sale estimate.
It has a Warner Bros. inventory number etched into the base.
The figurine bears the same name as the movie that starred Humphrey Bogart as private eye Sam Spade.
The 45-pound, 12-inch-tall prop has a bent right tail feather – damage incurred during filming, Bonhams said. Actress Lee Patrick, who played Spade’s secretary, Effie, dropped it while handing it to Bogart.
The statuette’s unidentified owner purchased it privately in the 1980s. It has been exhibited at the Warner Bros. Studio Museum, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
It is being offered in a sale of other classic movie memorabilia.