“Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.' ” Going up for auction at Bonham's today is one of the most famous pianos in the world, the painted upright in Rick’s Cafe Americain in the movie “Casablanca” when Ingrid Bergman uttered those immortal cinematic words.
Catherine Williamson, the director of entertainment memorabilia at Bonhams, explains why this piano is a significant piece of movie memorabilia.
"The piano is central to the plot because of the transit papers — this thing that everyone is searching for so desperately.”
“Fifteen minutes into the movie, he tucks them in there. They’re under there while Sam plays, they’re there for all of the activity that happens in the cafe. The piano is there. It represents the way out for them. That’s what made it so important.”