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Casablanca piano sold for $3.4 million at US auction
The orange piano - on which Sam famously plays "As Time Goes By" at the request of his one-time love Ilsa - was among 200 items from Hollywood's golden age that went under the hammer at Bonham's in New York on Monday. The piano featured prominently in the Oscar-winning 1942 romantic drama, with leading man Humphrey Bogart using it as a hiding place for the letters of transit that ultimately secure his former lover's safe passage to the United States. Dresses worn by Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Rita Hayworth were also auctioned, as well as a jacket worn by Clark Gable in "Gone With the Wind.". Auctioneers had declined to estimate the Casablanca piano's likely price, saying only that they expected it to fetch "The low- to mid-seven figures." The writers decided that the papers should be stashed in the top of the piano, but had to alter its lid to make it work on camera. "The solution to this staging problem was to have the prop department completely remove the top of the piano, leaving the piece secured by a hook and eye only." Most likely made in 1927, the piano also has only 58 keys, 30 fewer than a classic piano. Several dresses featured in other movies fetched hefty sums as well, including a gown worn by Garland in "Easter Parade" that sold for $11,875 and another worn by Barbra Streisand in "The Way We Were" that earned $8,750.

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