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Charlie Chaplin's hat and cane sold

By
JAN POPEHN

LONDON -- Entertainer Charlie Chaplin's trademark hat and cane sold at auction Friday for $148,500 to a Danish buyer, and an anonymous telephone bidder paid $69,300 for his boots.

Dane Jorgen Strecker said he and two business partners plan to display the hat and cane behind glass at the 'Scala' entertainment center, which is now under construction in the Danish capital.

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An anonymous phone bidder who lost out on the hat and cane paid $69,300 for Chaplin's boots at Christie's auction house, which held the specialty sale involving some 240 items.

The buyer was identified as a Swiss museum but no other information was available.

The hat, cane and boots were trademarks that came to be synonymous with the star's best-loved role, 'The Tramp.' Chaplin himself assigned symbolic significance to the items.

'I wanted to create a satire on man. The cane stood for man's attempt at dignity, the moustache for his vanity, and the boots for the cares that hamper him,' Chaplin once said of his famous costume in an interview.

Although Chaplin undoubtedly used several hats and canes in his films, his studio manager, Alfred Reeves, believed the ones sold Friday were Chaplin's favorites.

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And the boots -- the right one fitted with a hole in the heel so it could be anchored to the floor for Chaplin's special stunts -- is one of three surviving pairs.

A rare original script known as 'Production Number 6,' 'The Great Dictator,' went to an anonymous phone bidder for $1,980. The film attempted to make a laughingstock of Nazi leader Adolph Hitler with Chaplin playing the dictator.

Not only is the script one of few to survive, the work is a landmark in the artist's career because it was the first film in which Chaplin used dialogue.

One of the world's greatest entertainers, Chaplin was knighted in 1974 and died on Christmas Day 1977 at the age of 88.

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