Even if you’ve never seen a Charlie Chaplin film, you'd recognize the star's baggy pants, floppy shoes, bowler hat, and bendy cane. To this day, Chaplin’s Tramp outfit remains one of the most iconic and lasting images from the days of early cinema. And now, some lucky cinephile will be able to own a tiny piece of film history by taking home a piece of Chaplin’s costume. Blouin Artinfo reports that Chaplin’s Whangee cane will be going up for auction at Christie’s on July 13.
Chaplin created his Tramp character and costume all the way back in 1914, and continued to appear as the same character on screen through the mid 1930s. The particular artifact going up for auction is believed to be one of the canes used during the filming of 1936’s Modern Times, which marked Chaplin’s last film appearance as the Tramp. It was presented to a London movie theater for that film’s premiere.
The cane is expected to sell for between £6,000 and £9,000 (about $7700 to $11,650) and was previously owned by cricket commentator Henry Blofeld, who is reportedly selling it to raise money for a vacation with his wife. Blofeld seems to be giving it up regretfully. "I’ve watched Charlie Chaplin since, I suppose, when I went to my preparatory school from the age of about seven-and-a-half,” he told the Daily Mail. “He’s always been a great icon in one’s life and always fascinated me.”
[h/t Blouin Artinfo]