Charlie Chaplin's bowler hat and cane fetch over $60,000 at auction

NEW YORK Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:15pm GMT

Charlie Chaplin's signature bowler hat from numerous productions such as ''The Tramp'' is pictured at a preview of actress Debbie Reynolds' Hollywood costume and prop collection in Beverly Hills June 6, 2011. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Charlie Chaplin's signature bowler hat from numerous productions such as ''The Tramp'' is pictured at a preview of actress Debbie Reynolds' Hollywood costume and prop collection in Beverly Hills June 6, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - One of Charlie Chaplin's bowler hats and a cane, the staple of Hollywood silent-era comedy, were auctioned for $62,500 (39,340.34 pounds) on Sunday, said auction house Bonhams.

Chaplin's hat and cane, which fetched more than the initial estimate of $40,000-60,000, are synonymous with his "Little Tramp" character in films such as "City Lights" and "Modern Times."

Bonhams memorabilia specialist Lucy Carr said earlier it is unknown how many of Chaplin's bowlers and canes still exist. Those auctioned on Sunday are 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, Hollywood legend says was created by accident on a rainy day at Keystone Studios, 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 that is still in progress. Other items include a handwritten letter from John Lennon in which the Beatle sketched himself and wife Yoko Ono nude. There is also an archive of Marilyn Monroe photographs, an early Charles Schulz "Peanuts" comic strip, and a wicker chair from Rick's Cafe in "Casablanca."

(Additional reporting by Eric Kelsey; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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