'Casablanca' piano to auction for up to $1.2 mn

Here's sellin' to you, kid. The piano used as the prop for the key flashback scene between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in "Casablanca" will go on sale next month.

The piano used in the movie "Casablanca" to play "As Time Goes By" sits on display inside the new Warner Brothers Studio Museum 13 June 1996 in Burbank, California. The piano used in the movie "Casablanca" to play "As Time Goes By" on display inside the Warner Brothers Studio Museum in Burbank, California ©AFP PHOTO/Kim KULISH

Sotheby's says the auction in New York should raise between $800,000 and $1.2 million for the 58-key piano on which the movie's character Sam plays "As Time Goes By" for Rick and Ilsa.

"Here's lookin' at you, kid," Bogart's Rick tells Bergman's Ilsa as the three drink champagne at La Belle Aurore in Paris, while loudspeakers outside announce the approach of the invading German army.

The December 14 sale will mark the 70th anniversary of "Casablanca," ranked by the American Film Institute as the most romantic and quotable movie of all time. The Warner Bros movie won three Oscars in 1943 for Best Picture, Best Writing (Screenplay) and Best Director.

The piano was sold by Sotheby's in 1988 to a Japanese collector.

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