The Godfather horse head prop to auction



2015-06-26 10:52:07

The Godfather horse head prop to auction

8 Aug 2012, 10:47 GMT+01

James D. Julia’s August 21st-24th auction of Fine Art and Antiques will include something slightly out of the ordinary – the original horse head prop from the famous scene in 1972’s Oscar winning film The Godfather.

Amidst an array of American & European paintings, folk art, Asian antiques and art, silver, historical documents and letters, books and fine antiques, the taxidermy horse head will sit, blooded neck and glassy staring eyes making bidders an offer they can't refuse.

The notoriously gruesome scene in The Godfather features studio boss Jack Woltz waking up to discover the severed head of his favourite thoroughbred racehorse in his bed with him.

This taxidermy horse head prop was used throughout rehearsals for the famous scene. However, it was replaced for the actual filming by a genuine bloody decapitated horse head, sourced from a dog food factory.

Director Coppola was not satisfied with the fake-looking blood on this example’s neck. He wanted to make a dramatic statement and needed the grisly head to look as real as possible, blood, brains and bone. The real severed head was disposed of immediately after the filming of the scene.

This taxidermy prop is consigned to auction by a Paramount employee. It is estimated to sell for $10,000-$20,000.

Alongside this unique surprise, several important paintings will be offered. A flower garden scene with young provincial woman by Daniel Ridgway Knight is expected to fetch $225,000-$275,000. For the first time in ten years a work by Maine artist Marsden Hartley will be offered at auction, a trio featuring waves crashing against cliffs, valued at $30,000-$40,000.

More than 30 folk art weathervanes in various shapes will be represented, including a significant 19th century Goddess of Liberty valued at $25,000-$35,000. A large presentation American stoneware advertising jug is expected to fetch $85,000-$125,000.

Antiquarian books, rhinoceros horn liberation cups, carvings, china and porcelain and tea sets will round off this eclectic and intriguing auction of over 3,000 lots.


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