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Saturday, 18 September 2010


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http://www.spindelvisions.com/ (see auction notes)

I'll take Lot 104 "Eiffel Tower Staircase Section" and Lot 20 "Original "Hunks of Television" TV Guide Cover Art".

Perfect for the SoHo loft.

I have a replica Maltese Falcon, received as a Christmas gift a few years ago. It rests on my desk, inspiring me. I recently read the novel, and was amazed how closely the movie tracks to it. The only noticeable differences (to me) were a scene in the book where Spade searches the apartment of Brigid O'Shaughnessy after having slept with her. The event is alluded to later, but no indication that it was Spade that rifled through the room. Another red-herring scene later is altered, replacing a character.

The movie is justifiably a classic, however I prefer Bogart in Casablanca. Now *that* is a picture.

Fun fact: Both movie's closing lines are usually mis-quoted. In Casablanca, the correct final line is: "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.", and The Maltese Falcon ends with: "Huh?" in response to the answer of the question what was inside the falcon: The stuff that dreams are made of.


I loved that movie! The Falcon would be the first thing I'd spent my 300 large... if I had it in the first place. "Stuff that dreams are made of"? Can't beat that... fo'sho!

Wow, that is one sexy photograph! (Grace and Janice kissing.) What does "A/P" mean? Google isn't coughing this up.


I read somewhere that, rather than write a script, John Huston distributed copies of Hammett's novel to the cast and crew to work from. Whether that's true or not, he obviously left the dialog mostly intact. It was the third attempt to film the book, Huston's first directing job, and was an instant classic.

I saw the Maltese Falcon statuette displayed in the window of Harry Winston jewelers on Fifth Avenue back in the eighties. Considering the auction estimate now I wish I had snatched it.

Another thing both The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca have in common is the great Sydney Greenstreet.

"Let's face it: It would take a miracle to get you out of Casablanca, and the Germans have outlawed miracles."

Can't beat that.

Those dye-transfer prints are a bargain at those estimated selling prices, considering their dual provenance-Marshall and Ctein.

The Park Avenue armory sale in New York is within walking distance of the residences of many, many of the rich and famous from the sixties generation, so here's wishing Ctein good luck and wishing that a multitude of hedge fund types and others will compete against each each other to buy these gems.

It's time to relieve the capitalists of some of their gains of the last 30 years!

I clicked on one of the Lennon photos and the detailed description said the photographer is David Spindel.

With the mention of the Maltese Falcon, I couldn't help but think of this bit from Adam Savage of Mythbusters:


He starts talking about his quest for the perfect Falcon at ~6:45.

re Robert:"What does "A/P" mean?"

I believe it stands for "Artist's Proof," which are sometimes made in addition to numbered editions of a print. This is the meaning as it applies to artist's lithographs, etc.

Jim Pease

As long as we're off-topic ....

Greenstreet (and Raines) notwithstanding, am I the only person to have been horribly underwhelmed by Casablanca? To me, it's a film that was pre-marketed to undeserved greatness, like that low budget thingy with Clark Gable. I think he burned Atlanta, or something (I lost track a couple of days into it).

Now, Demetrius and the Gladiators, THAT was an epic. Three hours of sweaty men in leather miniskirts ....

Bugger. Better not press 'post'.

We need someone with Adam Savage´s talent, enthusiasm and perfectionism to build the ultimate camera design. The TOP DMD.
Let´s contact Adam Savage and see if he´s willing to design the beast.

Hmm. I think Mick is about the same age as that Falcon.

"I'm Serious, I Want..."

And I wanted all three of the Turnley prints...

... and a Nikon D3S with a 300mm f/2.8G ED AF-S VR II.
Just for starters.

Sometimes, you simply have to accept what you can afford. Dammit.

@James McDermott: I know you're just giving a good-natured wind-up and it doesn't mean a thing in the grand scheme that you don't share my love for Casablanca. I'm with you on GWTW, incidentally. I tried watching it in a theater a few years ago and 'left after the first feature'.

Re: Casablanca, I'll say this: It is my favorite film of all time, though that doesn't mean I consider it the best film of all time (I don't have a suggestion for that but I bristle at the frequent selection of Citizen Kane as greatest film). Here's why Casablanca gets my nod: It is an extremely well crafted movie, and illustrates the fact that film (like photography) is both art and craft. Casablanca exemplifies impeccable craftsmanship on so many fronts: writing (both plot and dialog), acting, music, direction, pphotography etc. I'd say it doesn't attempt anything so great as 'art' by which I mean furthering an understanding of the human condition with a new perspective or technique in the form. Kane, of course, famously did so. But in my opinion, fails on two fronts. The plot is dependent upon people recounting events they were not witness to as if they were perfect narrators of those events. And Joseph Cotton's performance as an old man in the framing scenes was laughably bad. It takes me out of the movie experience every time.

Now, understand I'm not suggesting that Kane isn't a great film worthy of recognition and study; simply that for me, these faults disqualify it for 'greatest' status.

Now I've got to look up Demetrius and the Gladiators!


It's curious: In the film The Maltese Falcon, the statuette posses a strange allurement. Reading several of the posts here, the Falcon seems to have the same effect. Will we end up all bidding against each other?

"Mr. Johnston, have you any conception of how much money can be got for that black bird?"

For me it's the Brian Wilson photo (Lot 73.) I grew up in LA and saw the Beach Boys in 1962 at Glendale Jr College. I think one of them was still in high school.

They used the school's sound system and it totally failed. They then had to setup their own and they were really pissed before they even started playing.

I never use common sense when selecting something like this. It's an emotional thing.

Brian and the Vet. So LA.

I second Mr. McDermott.

Thanks, Jim. Googling for "artist's proof" confirms:

"Artist's proofs are signed "A/P" or "Artist's Proof" and may or may not be numbered with the serial number of that portion of the edition.

"Artist's proofs are generally considered a status symbol in the world of art collecting. And their resale value is proportionally higher than the numbered editions."

That version of the definition is at http://www.novaspace.com/AUTO/AP.html a site that happens to sell original artwork by former astronauts.

i'm interested in the eiffel tower staircase. did some research and apparently it is the last piece available. pretty pricey though, the last went for 800k. any idea on how much this stuff goes for in an economy like this? suspecting that the armory will bring in some pretty heavy hitters.

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