Chaplin's hat and cane sell for $62,500 at Bonhams auction


2015-06-26 13:03:43


Chaplin's hat and cane sell for $62,500 at Bonhams auction

Charlie Chaplin's trademark bowler hat and cane have beaten their estimate in Los Angeles

A trademark bowler hat and cane, once employed by Charlie Chaplin to portray his Little Tramp creation, have sold for $62,500 at Bonhams.

The lot was the star of Bonhams' November 18 Entertainment Memorabilia auction in Los Angeles, selling just above its $60,000 high estimate.

Charlie Chaplin Tramp bowler hat and cane auctionThe hat and cane sold for $62,500 against a $60,000 estimate

First seen in 1915's The Tramp, Chaplin retired the Little Tramp following 1936's Modern Times.

The hat and cane were presented to wax sculptor Katherine Stubergh Keller, who had met Chaplin in 1936 after being commissioned to create a bust of the actor.

In 1966 Keller passed the items to Herbert Moore of the Mammoth Cave Wax Museum in Kentucky, who has provided a certificate of authenticity.

The cane featured "CCLT 36" inscribed in black ink, with the "CC" representing Chaplin's initials and "LT" denoting Little Tramp.

The felt black bowler hat bore only the remnants of a paper label on the interior, resulting in its manufacturer remaining unknown.

Charlie Chaplin The TrampChaplin retired his tramp persona in 1936 after 21 years

It was accompanied by a newspaper clipping showing Chaplin and Keller together with her sculpture.

The result is testament to the continued strength of the Chaplin memorabilia market. Chaplin's first bowler hat sold for $18,750 alone in 2011, the same year Bonhams sold another hat and cane combo for $139,250.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a rare autographed photo of Charlie Chaplin in his most famous guise, which is sold with a fascinating letter to Chaplin from his former office boy Frank Traughber.

The sale also featured a John Lennon handwritten letter, featuring the former Beatle's nude drawing of himself and Yoko Ono. It sold for $25,000. View our Lennon memorabilia here.

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