Thursday, February 14, 2019

I Want It: SAM SPADE's Chair!

Damn, this looks comfortable! This chair, from Spade's apartment in The Maltese Falcon, sold at auction in 1997 for $32,000, and again in 2015 for $87,500. I think it belongs in my living room, though the current owner (probably Don Herron) might disagree. The 2015 sale was part of the TCM PRESENTS . . . TREASURES OF THE DREAM FACTORY auction conducted by Bonhams.
The listing read as follows:
Sam Spade's chair from The Maltese Falcon
Warner Bros., 1941. Burgundy button tufted leather chair with nailhead detail, mounted on a wooden platform rocker with carved feet. Inscribed on the underside in white paint, "WB 84892" Accompanied by a copy of the film.
Provenance: Hollywood Studio Auction to benefit People For The American Way, 1982; Christie's, Hollywood Memorabilia, June 7, 1997, lot 215, sold for $32,200.
This distinctive chair is one of the few pieces of furniture in in Sam Spade's small studio apartment in The Maltese Falcon, where much of the film's action takes place. Many of the main characters, including those played by Mary Astor and Sidney Greenstreet, sit in it during the course of the film and the climactic final scene featuring the titular bird unfolds around it. Film fans are always surprised to learn that Sam's large, imposing "bachelor's chair" is upholstered in burgundy leather rather than black, but using bright colors to create greater contrast in black and white was a standard practice during the Golden Age of Cinema.
32 x 49 x 28 in.

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