Chaplin’s hat and cane to be sold at Bonhams

Charlie Chaplin

Auction house Bonhams will hold Rock n Pop & Film Memorabilia sale at Knightsbridge, London on November 16, 2005. One of the most interesting and important lots will be the trademark bowler hat and cane used by Charlie Chaplin in his role of the Tramp. Chaplin used these indispensable props throughout his 22–year career.

Chaplin’s famous origins of the Tramp guise were invented almost spontaneously in the communal male dressing room at Keystone Studio, Hollywood. According to the legend, in early February 1914, Chaplin created an inspiring ensemble of contrasts: he borrowed Fatty Arbuckle’s voluminous trousers, Charles Avery’s tiny jacket, Ford Sterling’s size fourteen shoes which he was obliged to wear on the wrong feet to keep them falling off, a too-small derby belonging to Arbuckle’s father-in-law, and a moustache intended for Mack Swain’s use, which he trimmed to toothbrush size. The hat and cane were originally at the studio costume department and were selected by Chaplin personally.

The bowler hat has a stamp «The Chaplin Studios Inc California» and ink stamp «Charles Chaplin Film Corporation». The cane is 32 inches long and made of bamboo. These accessories were first used by Chaplin’s Tramp character in the film «The Great Dictator» in 1938. The hat and cane are estimated to fetch £100,000-150,000.

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Published in: on August 29, 2005 at 4:02 am  Leave a Comment  

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