The piano played by the character Sam in one of the film Casablanca’s iconic scenes has sold for $600,000 (£370,000) at a Sotheby’s auction in New York. It was used for the song “As Times Goes By” in the classic 1942 film . It’s was offered by a Japanese collector who purchased it in the 1980s for $154,000 dollars.
This year is the films 70th anniversary and interest in items of memorabilia from the film is high. Humphrey Bogart who played Rick Blaine in the Oscar-winning World War II love story, opposite Ingrid Bergman’s character, Ilsa Lund is immortalised in a scene which features the piano.
Pianist Sam is played by Dooley Wilson who performs the song, As Time Goes By, during a key flashback set in a Paris bar. They toast as Rick says: “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
The synopsis of the film reads, In World War II Casablanca, Rick Blaine, exiled American and former freedom fighter, runs the most popular nightspot in town. The cynical lone wolf Blaine comes into the possession of two valuable letters of transit. When Nazi Major Strasser arrives in Casablanca, the sycophantic police Captain Renault does what he can to please him, including detaining a Czechoslovak underground leader Victor Laszlo. Much to Rick’s surprise, Lazslo arrives with Ilsa, Rick’s one time love. Rick is very bitter towards Ilsa, who ran out on him in Paris, but when he learns she had good reason to, they plan to run off together again using the letters of transit.