Osian’s buys Chaplin's cane from 'The Masquerader'

Osian’s - Connoisseurs of Art Pvt. Ltd purchases Charlie Chaplin’s screen-used cane from the film ‘The Masquerader’ for an incredible $50,000. Bought privately from a leading dealer in Beverly Hills of guaranteed-authentic original Hollywood Film Memorabilia, the bamboo-ribbed cane is 35 inches long with 25 ribs. Adding to its beauty is a metal tip and bulbous knob at the end of the handle. The cane comes with a studio tag stamped ‘Charles Chaplin Film Corporation - Alfred Reeves General Manager - # 449 cane.’

This new purchase adds to the recent acquisition of Osian’s Hollywood Sci-fi and Horror Film Memorabilia, Elvis Presley’s ring and waist belt, Marilyn Monroe vintage prints, rare artworks of Marlon Brando, James Bond, Alfred Hitchcock, Clint Eastwood among many others.

Mr. Neville Tuli, Founder Chairman, Osian’s says, “Chaplin’s cane is one of the great material icons of cinematic history. It’s presence in India can trigger many changes, especially in the correct context. It is an item which will especially appeal to the masses once we have completed our Chaplin archive.”

A wonderful part of film history, the cane is a signature piece, a true Charlie Chaplin icon. It perfectly captures the romance of the silent film era. The cane can be seen very prominently throughout the film. With the cane also comes a four-page letter of authenticity giving full provenance, further stating that the Smithsonian offered to buy this for their permanent collection and a copy of the Hollywood Reporter dated 6 October 1953, with an announcement of the sale of the ‘Complete Equipment of the Chaplin Studios’ from which the cane was originally obtained.

A 16 minute film, ‘The Masquerader’s’ plot revolves around Chaplin as an actor, approaching Keystone Pictures seeking employment. After messing up several scenes, he is thrown off the set, but returns dressed as a lady. He succeeds in charming the director, but still never makes it into the film and winds up at the bottom of a well.

Charlie Chaplin got his start at Keystone when Mack Sennett (owner of Keystone Pictures Studio) hired him fresh from his vaudeville career to make silent films. One of the most creative and influential personalities in the silent film era, he acted in, directed, scripted, produced, and eventually even scored for his own films. His working life in entertainment spanned over 70 years.

A pioneering Archive and Auction House, Osian’s will launch The Osianama in October 2007 where the vast and diverse collection of film memorabilia will have a permanent home for display which will be accessible to the public. It is for the first time that Film Memorabilia from all over the world will be unwrapped to such a vast audience. Mr. Tuli’s vision of building the most comprehensive and prominent collection and research hub for Indian, Asian and World arts & cinema is steadily moving towards its goal.

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