The Maltese Falcon statuette from the classic 1941 movie sold at auction for more than $4 million (£2.6 million) on Monday (25Nov13).

The bird figurine, which Humphrey Bogart's private investigator character unveils as a fake in the film, is celebrated as one of the greatest movie props of all time and was originally expected to sell for $1.5 million (£1 million).

However, the falcon managed to bring in just over $4 million (£2.6 million) when it went under the hammer at Bonhams auction house in New York.

Dr. Catherine Williamson, the Director of the Entertainment Memorabilia Department at Bonhams, says, "The spectacular price achieved reflects the statuette's tremendous significance. The Maltese Falcon is arguably the most important movie prop ever, and is central to the history of cinema."