‘Casablanca’ piano to be auctioned off, expected to go for $1.2 million

By Daniel S Levine,

Monday was the 70th anniversary of one of the most iconic films ever made, Warner Bros.’ Casablanca. To celebrate, the piano used by Dooley Wilson will be hitting the auction block at Sotheby’s in New York next month.

The Associated Press reports that the auction house estimates that the prop will go for $1.2 million on Dec. 14, when it goes up for sale.

“How can anything say 'I love you' better than the piano from Casablanca?” David Redden, vice chairman and director of the special projects department at Sotheby's, said in a statement, reports Reuters.

The piano was last up for sale in 1998, when a Japanese collector bought it from Sotheby’s for $154,000. At the time, it was the highest price for a piece of movie memorabilia. That was easily surpassed by the $4.6 million paid for Marilyn Monroe’s ‘subway dress’ from The Seven Year Itch last year.

The piano is used in the memorable scene where Wilson’s character Sam serenades Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman with “As Time Goes By.” Casablanca is often cited as one of the most romantic films of all time and the song, which was not written for the film, is inseparable.

Casablanca won three Oscars, including Best Picture, Director (Michael Curtiz) and Best Screenplay. We included the film on our list of greatest Best Picture Oscar winners.

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