Charlie Chaplin’s bowler and cane at Bonhams



2015-06-26 11:22:27

Charlie Chaplin’s bowler and cane at Bonhams

Bonhams’ November 18 Entertainment Memorabilia auction will star the trademark bowler hat and cane of silent movie slapstick icon Charlie Chaplin.

The cane is inscribed with CCLT 36, the initials of Charlie Chaplin and ‘Little Tramp’, his signature character, retired after the release of Modern Times in 1936.

The origins of the Tramp character are legendary. Chaplin, in the communal male dressing room at Keystone Studio, created his ensemble by collecting ill-fitting items of clothing belonging to other actors. The trousers of Fatty Arbuckle, tent-like on Chaplin, Charles Avery’s tiny jacket, Ford Sterling’s size fourteen shoes, and Mark Swain’s moustache, constructed one of the most memorable characters of the silent movie era.

The hat and cane are expected to sell for $40,000-$60,000.

They will be accompanied by some fantastic lots from Hollywood, Rock and Roll, and animation art. From Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, Casablanca and Sammy Davis Jr, to The Nightmare Before Christmas and Harry Potter, a century of entertainment memorabilia will be showcased.

Another highlight is the 1930s Buescher Aristocrat E-flat alto saxophone of Charlie Parker, once rescued from a pawn shop by fellow saxophonist Bill Hood, estimated to sell for $22,000-$26,000.

Items relating to The Beatles include a John Lennon handwritten letter and nude drawing of himself and Yoko, estimated at $18,000-$22,000, a signature set of all four band members estimate $4,500-$6,500, and the rare original cover art for Yesterday and Today, the rejected ‘Butcher’ theme showing the band covered in meat and decapitated baby dolls, valued at $12,000-$18,000.

Several photographic lots of Marilyn Monroe, including a set from the night in 1955 when she rode a pink elephant, will be offered. A large archive relating to the golden age of crooners will follow, with Frank Sinatra’s artworks, Sammy Davis Jr’s suits, shoes and travel cases, and Bing Crosby’s pipes and hats available.

The animation section will be highlighted by an original early Charles Schulz Peanuts daily sketch from 1966, a classic image of Snoopy and the Red Baron valued at $10,000-$15,000. Another Peanuts Daily from 1977, showing Snoopy holding his dog bowl to his ear to listen for the sound of a restaurant is expected to fetch $7,000-$10,000.

A film-used sleigh prop from 1993’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is estimated at $12,000-$16,000, and a wicker chair from Rick’s Cafe in 1942’s Casablanca at $5,000-$7,000. Many costume design sketches and movie and rock n roll posters are also on offer. A signed photograph of James Dean, smoking and examining an SLR camera, is expected to sell for $3,000-$5,000.


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