Maltese Falcon Statuette to Headline Bonhams and TCM’s “What Dreams Are Made Of: A Century of Movie Magic at Auction, as Curated by Turner Classic Movies”



One of the iconic statuettes used in John Huston's classic film noir The Maltese Falcon (1941) is set to headline "What Dreams Are Made Of: A Century of Movie Magic at Auction, as Curated by Turner Classic Movies," a special sale to be held this fall by fine art auctioneers and appraisers Bonhams and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). This remarkable event will feature a stunning array of costumes, props, scripts, production designs, production memos, movie posters and other rare treasures from some of the greatest films of all time. As one of the leading authorities on classic film, TCM will highlight the fascinating stories behind the memorabilia, providing the cultural and historical context for each remarkable treasure. The "What Dreams Are Made Of" auction is set to take place Nov. 25 at Bonhams New York, with a portion of the auction proceeds going to Film Foundation, a nonprofit established by Martin Scorsese in 1990 to protect and preserve motion picture history. The auction will feature live online bidding. 

Prior to the "What Dreams Are Made Of" auction, Bonhams will present special preview exhibits of items from the sale, the first to be held Oct. 22-27 in Los Angeles and the second slated for Nov. 20-25 in New York. A fully illustrated, color catalog showcasing the items up for sale will be available via the website approximately six weeks before the auction. Movie lovers can pre-order the standard soft copy of the catalog or the deluxe limited edition hard copy at

One of the most recognizable props in movie history, the statuette from The Maltese Falcon is the centerpiece of the "What Dreams Are Made Of" sale. It was acquired directly from a Warner Bros. prop department employee and is the only version of the bird known to have appeared in the celebrated 1941 film, which stars Humphrey Bogart as a private eye who gets tangled up with a motley crew of thieves and murderers determined to get their hands on the bird. The statuette has the proper Warner Bros inventory information and impeccable provenance.  Additionally, it has been exhibited at the Pompidou Centre, the Museum of Modern Art and Warner Bros. own museum.  The title of the auction is a paraphrase of the movie's famous last line, in which Bogart describes the falcon as, "The stuff that dreams are made of."

[M.Pierce] The statuette from The Maltese Falcon will be joined on the auction block by such top-tier collectibles as a polka-dot dress worn by Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce (1945); Theda Bara’s tiara and earrings from the silent version of Cleopatra (1917); a legendary nude portrait of silent star Clara Bow commissioned by her onetime lover Bela Lugosi; Shirley Temple's majorette costume from Poor Little Rich Girl (1936); John Huston’s hand-written and typed draft of the screenplay for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948); Chico Marx’s tuxedo jacket and original artwork from the Harpo Marx estate; Steve McQueen’s white uniform from The Sand Pebbles (1966); and a dress worn by Talia Shire in The Godfather (1972). Previously announced items include a suit worn by Humphrey Bogart in Howard Hawks' classic mystery The Big Sleep (1946), and a batsuit, cape and cowl worn by Michael Keaton as Batman in Batman Returns (1992).

Bonhams is accepting additional consignments for the auction through the end of August. Owners wishing to have their exceptional classic movie memorabilia evaluated for inclusion in the auction should contact the Entertainment Memorabilia department at 323-436-5467 or [email protected].


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