Charlie Chaplin hat and cane net more than $62,000 in auction
Charlie Chaplin’s iconic bowler hat and cane were auctioned off for $62,500 this weekend, as part of an auction which also includes a John Lennon nude drawing of himself and Yoko Ono.
The hat and cane, trademark of Chaplin’s Little Tramp character, were in “remarkable condition” and had been estimated to go for between $40,000 and $60,000 at the sale by auction house Bonhams on Sunday. But when it went under the hammer, the sale price hit $62,500 the auctioneers said.
Legend has it that Chaplin came up with the tramp persona and wardrobe spontaneously one rainy afternoon in February 1914, seizing various wardrobe items in a communal male dressing room at a Hollywood studio.
These included baggy trousers from actor Fatty Arbuckle, size 14 shoes which he had to wear on the wrong feet to keep them from falling off, the hat belonging to Arbuckle’s father-in-law, and a mustache intended for another actor.
The 32-inch (81-centimeter) bamboo cane is inscribed “CCLT 36” in black ink, a reference to the Little Tramp, Chaplin’s signature character.
Other items sold Sunday include a handwritten letter by Beatle John Lennon with a nude drawing of himself and his wife Yoko Ono, sent to an avant-garde magazine publisher in connection with the controversial 1968 “Two Virgins” nude album cover. The letter went for $25,000.
Also auctioned: a collection of original photographs of Marilyn Monroe that went for $21,250, and three signed, abstract original oil paintings by crooner Frank Sinatra, the most valuable auctioned for $10,625.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]