The real-life love story of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall has been celebrated as one of the great romances of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The couple met in 1944 on the set of To Have and Have Not, and despite an age difference of 25 years, they fell madly in love.
On Friday, the heart-shaped locket on which Bogart proclaimed his love for Bacall sold for $57,150 at Los Angeles-based Julien’s Auctions. The winning bid was nearly three times the auction house’s pre-sale high estimate of $20,000.
Julien’s noted that the gold locket, which is set with a faceted heart-shaped simulated garnet, is inscribed with the phrase, “Baby / here’s my heart / Bogie.” The piece measures 1 inch x 2 inches, weighs 20 grams and opens to reveal two photo compartments.
It’s not clear whether Bogart gifted this piece before or after the couple exchanged vows in May of 1945. The 45-year-old Bogart was already a Hollywood headliner at the time, having starred in The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Casablanca (1942). The up-and-coming model-turned-actress was just 20 years old.
Naysayers predicted that the relationship would be short-lived, but they were wrong. Bacall and Bogart would go on to celebrate a 12-year storybook marriage — one that would be cut short only after he succumbed to cancer in 1957.
In her memoir, Bacall wrote, "No one has ever written a romance better than we lived it."
Also featured at Julien’s Auctions Hollywood Legends & Royalty sale were the couple’s matching 14-karat gold wedding bands. Described as "articulated curb link bands," the pair was sold as a single lot and fetched $190,500 — just shy of the pre-sale high estimate of $200,000. His ring is size 9 and hers is size 7.25. Both are 7 mm wide.
In all, the A-list couple starred in four movies together, including the aforementioned To Have or Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947) and Key Largo (1948).
Credits: Jewelry images via Julien’s Auctions. Bogart and Bacall photo by National Motion Picture Council, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.