Discovering Chaplin

The bowler hat, cane, and boots in the above photo were part of a Christie’s auction of Charlie Chaplin memorabilia from 1987. According to my own copy of the auction catalog, all 3 items were authenticated by Ted Tetrick who worked for Chaplin as a costumier (he was also married to Charlie’s second cousin, Betty).  The description states that Charlie selected the hat from the studio costume department himself and the cane was one of his favorites. Both were used in The Great Dictator (1940). The boots, which were custom made, had a hole drilled in the right heel for “stunts”.  I have read elsewhere that there was also a shoe of the correct size (either a size 5 or size 8) built inside the oversized boots, so he could move around more easily. According to Tetrick, these boots were worn by Chaplin in many of his films.

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