The other day, I read where somebody paid $4 million for the original Maltese Falcon used in the classic John Huston film. They actually had around three or four, I think, for the film, but only one saw any screen time, and that’s supposedly the one that went for the big bucks. You really have to hand it to the buyer, kicking out that kind of cash for a movie prop you can hold in your hand. I’m pretty sure the entire movie didn’t cost that much to make. Actually, I’d guess that all three versions of the movie didn’t total up to $4 million. The irony, of course, is that the bird that everyone killed for in the movie turned out to be a fake, totally worthless.
I got a copy of one a few years ago for considerably under $4,000,000. Considerably under $400, truth be told. But it’s a pretty good repro of the original and I use it in my author photo for my novels. Above is a closeup of the falcon itself and here’s my author photo.