John Wayne: The Duke’s Hat Sold on ‘Antique Roadshow’ for Insane Price

by Katie Maloney
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So what would a hat worn by John Wayne in one of his movies sell for today?

Antiques Roadshow provided the answer during season 15, episode 13 of the show. During the episode, a man came in with a hat, a framed photo signed by The Duke’s son Michael, and a framed cartoon drawing.

“This hat belonged to a friend of mine,” said the man. “And he furnished all the costumes for John Wayne.”

Collectibles expert Philip Weiss appraised the hat and gave it a pretty high price tag.

“The items we have here, the hat and the two framed pieces kind of tie this whole thing in together,” said Weiss. “The photo up here on this side says, ‘Bud, nice meeting you, Michael Wayne.’ So right there you have a great tie-in with Michael Wayne, John’s son. It puts you all together. Then you have a cartoon drawn here by a Walter Lantz artist Jon Voight, that says ‘I know a fella named Bud who stole a hat just like that from John Wayne.’ So again, now we’re tying the hat in, proving provenance.”

But that’s not all, Weiss also pointed out the markings inside the hat that proved it once belonged to Hollywood western superstar, John Wayne.

“To prove that it’s John Wayne’s hat when you open this up, we can see where it says ‘Wayne #1’ which shows that it was one of John Wayne’s hat from one of the movies. And furthermore, when you go to the side here you can see who made the hat. Which is made by Nudies, which is one of the foremost Hollywood costume makers of the time.”

So, what is it all worth?

“I wouldn’t hesitate to estimate the hat anywhere from $4,000-6,000,” said Weiss.

John Wayne Items Once Auctioned For a Total of $5.4 Million

In 2011, organizers hosted a two-day auction of more than 700 costumes, scripts, awards, and memorabilia from John Wayne’s estate. The auctioned items raised $5.4 million. All the items sold had been kept by Wayne’s family since his 1979 death from cancer. Additionally, part of the proceeds from the auction was donated to John Wayne Cancer Foundation. The foundation helps fund cancer research, treatment, and education.

So, what sold at the auction? The item that sold for the highest amount was Wayne’s green wool beret from The Green Berets. The beret sold for $179,250. Wayne’s Golden Globe award for True Grit was also auctioned and sold for $143,400. Additionally, organizers auctioned a cowboy hat that The Duke wore in three of his movies. The movies were Big Jake, The Cowboys, and The Train Robbers. The hat sold for $119,500. So, maybe that guy from Antiques Roadshow can hope for a little more for his John Wayne cowboy hat.

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