Charlie Chaplin's Bowler Hat Goes on Block

Chair From 'Casablanca' Also Up for Auction

By Reuters

Published November 13, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

One of Charlie Chaplin’s iconic bowler hats and canes, the staple of Hollywood silent-era comedy, will go under the hammer in Los Angeles this weekend, auction house Bonhams said on Tuesday.

Chaplin’s hat and cane - synonymous with his trademark “Little Tramp” character in films such as “City Lights” and “Modern Times” - are expected to fetch between $40,000 and $60,000 in the Nov. 18 auction.

It is unknown how many of Chaplin’s bowlers and canes still exist, said Lucy Carr, a memorabilia specialist at Bonhams. The ones up for auction come from a private collection but have a direct link to Chaplin, Carr said.

The waddling and bumbling Little Tramp character propelled Chaplin to global fame. The character, which Hollywood legend says was created by accident on a rainy day at Keystone Studio, first appeared in 1914’s “Kid Auto Races at Venice” and lastly in 1936’s “Modern Times.”

Chaplin’s hat and cane are the highlights of an auction of popular culture artifacts including a saxophone that belonged to jazz pioneer Charlie Parker ($22,000-$26,000) and a handwritten letter from John Lennon in which The Beatle sketched himself and wife Yoko Ono nude ($18,000-$22,000).

Other items hitting the block range from an archive of Marilyn Monroe photographs ($15,000-$20,000), an early Charles Schulz “Peanuts” comic strip ($10,000-$15,000) and a wicker chair from Rick’s Cafe in “Casablanca” ($5,000-$7,000).


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.