Just received a heads-up e-mail from B.H. that the one of the original Black Bird props made famous in John Huston’s 1941 film, THE MALTESE FALCON has flown back and perched on the auction block and will be up for bid on September 24, 2010.
As many of my readers know, John Huston friend to George Hodel and Fred Sexton since high-school days hired Sexton to sculpt the bird. Apparently, three or four were cast from Sexton’s mold. Some were made of lead weighing a reported 47 pounds, and the below prop was made from resin weighing in at a light weight– 6 pounds.
You can read Guernsey’s interesting account of the history of the bird here.
Guernsey’s Auction House will provide “authenticated documents” as lists its estimated value of $300,000 – $400,000.
The $tuff that Dream$ are made of–
A Bird in the Hand is Worth?
Few trivia notes from IMDB on BOGIE the man that made this bird famous.
1) Humphey Bogart died on January 14, 1957, ten years TO THE DAY from the murder of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short.
2) Bogie like me was “the son of a moderately wealthy physician and surgeon.”
3) The Black Bird and I are the exact same age, but he appears to have lost less feathers.
I’m going on record to predict a sale price on Bogie’s Bird. In these hard times, I’m saying there’s always a “Daddy (or Mommy) Got Bucks” out there. My guesstimate- $523,000 Yankee Dollars. (That’s only 400,670 Maltese dollars. They use the Euro)
Wouldn’t Kasper Gutman (Sydney Greenstreet) be surprised that when he gave Sam Spade the 1941 estimate of the black bird’s value, he said, “Who knows? “Millions”. Even without the encrusted jewels, he was pretty damn accurate.
What’s your guess on the final bid?
Thanks again, B.H.
SADLER BUT WISER-
Just this morning received the below comment/email from my friend Robert Sadler, who reminded me that about a year ago we “connected” thanks to his providing me with some historic information on the “Black Bird.” See his link here: The Dingus & Me.
Robert is a truly remarkable individual. A Vietnam vet and former Dallas P.D. police officer he is also: an accomplished author (six novels) artist and professional photographer, poet, security advisor and one of Dallas’ top P.I.’s.
Here is his comment:
Steve: Great news and sad. Would that I could win the auction and cast copies for the millions of fans who would like one! If you remember we traded emails re the Dingus from September 3 of last year.
I updated my post to include a link to your ‘auction’ news. All the best, rjs
And from Robert’s separate e-mail from this morning (9.19.2010) he writes:
As writer I have learned when ideas come they should not be ignored (this about thoughtprints). I’ve written a considerable amount of poetry over the years and although I make use of most poetic devices including end-rhyme, I am always surprised when one shows up that way. I don’t know to what degree you are or are not an appreciator of poetry, but wanted you to have this one (see attached).
Also just saw your post about the auction of The Falcon. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to cast the Dingus so millions of fans could really have an authentic one… regardless the asking price… it would make millions.
Hope this finds you well!
All the best,
I am exceptionally honored to receive Robert’s poem, Black Dahlia Avenged, and am sure he won’t mind me sharing it with my readers. Here it is:
UPDATE OCT 2, 2010
Leonardo DiCaprio and friends dipped into their coffee fund and bought the Black Bird for $305,000. See auction results here.