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Fashion Props-Bowler Hats

by Patrick Macnee
in The Avengers
25 June 1995
Auction: A Summer Musical Spectacular benefiting The Michael Bolton Foundation
Lot 100'

Patrick Macnee had donated this hat for "The Michael Bolton Foundation" (now Michael Bolton Charities),  an organization originally founded as a non-profit organization that supports children and women at risk of poverty, abuse, neglect, homelessness, and domestic violence.
Patrick Macnee added a signed 8'' x 10'' photograph: “To the Michael Bolton Foundation - Very Best Wishes - ‘The hat in the box is exactly the same as the one on my head’! Pat Macnee”.

16th March 2008
auction:The Pugliese Pop Culture Collection
estimated price: ?

:9th October 2009
Auction: Profiles in History/Hollywood Auction 37
Lot: 589
Starting price: was 3,000.00 USD
Estimated: 3,000.00 - 5,000.00 USD

In 9th October 2009 auctioneer offered a bowler hat (auction: Profiles in History/Hollywood Auction 37/John Steed derby hat from The Avengers sold a brown bowler hat) described in lot 589 as "John Steed derby hat from The Avengers" for 50.000(?) USD, according to the website.


Date: 31th March 2012

Price: 4,160 USD

'A brown fur felt hat with a brown grosgrain ribbon and brown leather headband with traces of makeup attributed to Patrick Macnee in The Avengers (1961-1969). Marked "Herbert Johnson of London," size 7 3/4'


25th September 2012
Starting price: minimum 500 USD

The hat was sold again in an auction on 25.9.2012 (I guess it is the same one as the head size matches with 7 3/4 i.e. /.7,75 and if so it was sold again on December 2013) by There were nine bidders.

21st December 2013
Auction: Profiles in History
Lot: Lot no.310

Description on site:

"Patrick MacNee “John Steed” signature bowler hat from The Avengers. (ABC TV, 1961-1969) In this beloved British “Spy-Fi” TV series, Partick MacNee began as an assistant and by the second season graduated to the star of the show, sealing his fate as a pop-culture icon. For the better part of a decade, MacNee portrayed “John Steed”, the dapper sleuth with a bevy of beautiful assistants that changed like the seasons, as he remained decked out in tailored suit, tightly wound umbrella and, most importantly, signature felt bowler hat. This bowler hat is custom-made by Herbert Johnson in brown felt, size 7.75, featuring silk lining and inner leather hatband. The bowler hat was personally given by Patrick MacNee to the Michael Bolton Foundation for charity auction and remains in fine condition. Accompanied by an 11 x 14 in. vintage black and white photo of MacNee in character as “John Steed”, inscribed by the actor in blue pen, “To the Michael Bolton Foundation - Very Best Wishes - ‘The Hat in the box is exactly the same as the one on my head’! Pat MacNee”. Photo shows wear, edge chipping and lower right corner damage. Provenance: A Summer Musical Spectacular benefiting The Michael Bolton Foundation, Sunday, June 25, 1995. Lot 100.
$4,000 - $6,000"
Inscription says:"“To the Michael Bolton Foundation - Very Best Wishes - ‘The Hat in the box is exactly the same as the one on my head’! Pat Macnee”.

Navy Blue Bowler Hat
Light Gray Bowler Hat
Date: 17 December 1992
Auctioneer: Christie's
Lot: sale 4875, lot 439

Lot description said:

'A bowler hat of gray felt, lined in white silk with manufacturer's details Herbert Johnson, 8 New Bond St., London, printed on the lining and leather band, the lining additionally signed and inscribed To Eric Thank you Pat Macnee 1969 in black ink - worn by Patrick Macnee as Steed in the television series The Avengers; accompanied by a letter of authenticity giving the hat's provenance.'


'The accompanying letter states that the hat ...was worn by Patrick Macnee in the 1968/69 Avengers series. It's used as a weapon during the series prompted the catchphrase "steel brim." At the end of the series, Mr. Macnee gave the Eric Hawkes who was involved in the costume on the production and had been a friend of Mr. Macnee since the beginning of The Avengers in 1962.'
!7 December 1992

Dark Gray Bowler Hat
and brolly
(from The New Avengers)
Date:1998: price in the Granada Plus 'Avengers' competition on Radio Virgin

In 1998 this bowler and a brolly were the price in a Granada Plus 'Avengers' competition on Radio Virgin.
The winner was a gentleman from Manchester.

Date: 5-5-1999

The gray bowler hat was sold by auctioneer Sotheby’s on May 5, 1999.

Auction: Hollywood Auctions 43
Price: sold for 11,000 USD

Item description from the auction:

"(ITV, 1966-1967) Hat by Herbert Johnson in dark grey fur, size 7 5/8, silk lining and inner leather hatband. Signed on the inner hatband by Patrick Macnee. Includes a long black umbrella. With a copy of letter of provenance from Granada Sky Broadcasting stating the items came directly from the actor. Sotheby’s May 5, 1999."

Photos of the hat and umbrella and the letter of provenance onwebsite:

Hat and brolly
Date:19th December 2015
Auctioneer: Henry Aldridge & Son,Wiltshire
Lot: 297

A (light) gray bowler hat worn by Patrick Macnee as John Steed was offered by auctioneer Henry Aldridge & Son,Wiltshire on
19th December 2015

Lot: 297 a Herbert Johnson of London Bowler, Costume - (John Steed of the Avengers): A Herbert Johnson of London Bowler, gray, signed Patrick MacNee on the inner liner.

start and selling price unknown


Date: 25th June 2017 (auction started on 18th June)
Auction: Hollywood Auction 89, Day 2, offered by Profiles in History, Lot 966
Seller's Estimate: USD 2,000 - 3,000
Sold on: Ebay auction, 1 bidder
Price: 7.000 US Dollars

"966. Patrick Macnee signed “John Steed” prop special FX bowler hat from The Avengers. (ABC, 1961-1969) Vintage original signature bowler hat from the British spy series. Constructed of blocked gray felt in the classic bowler domed-crown shape. This hat is constructed on a especially rigid undershell to withstand production use when Patrick Macnee as “John Steed” throws it as a prop weapon. Signed in blue ink on the interior loose satin and leather liner, “Patrick Macnee”. Personally gifted on set by Macnee to a production hand. In vintage fine condition. Provenance: Henry Aldridge & Son Auctions, Monthly Collectors Sale, Dec. 19, 2015. Comes with an LOA. $2,000 - $3,000"
Date: 29th November 2012
Auctioneer: Christie's
Lot: Sale 7401, Lot 123.
Estimate: Estimate: £2,000 - £3,000 ($3,100 - $4,500)
Price Realized: £5,000 Set Currency ($8,000)

London auctioneer Christie's offered on 29th November 2012 an original bowler hat from The Avengers series.

It's one of Steed's navy blue bowler hats made by Herbert Johnson.

Judging by the damage of the hat it could be the one from the episode The Fear Merchants from series 5.

Lot description:

'The Avengers, 1961-1969/Patrick Macnee
A bowler hat of navy blue felt, with grosgrain ribbon and trim, lined in white silk with Herbert Johnson, 38 New Bond St., London printed on the lining and inner head band, signed in black ballpoint pen on the head band Maggie, Patrick Macnee; accompanied by a document concerning the provenance (2)

It was a gift from Patrick Macnee to someone named 'Maggie', who "worked at Elstree Studios and was given this hat by Patrick Macnee after it was damaged during filming of The Avengers."

IPhoto on Christie'

If the link does not work, search in the Christie's lot finder.

Photo from the auction on

On 15 October 2012 a fan on The Avengers International Forum informed the members about this auction and that his/her mother originally owned this hat
Brown Bowler Hat
The left photo shows the above mentioned inscription:
"To Eric Thank you Pat Macnee"

Gettyimages: photo of a John Steed bowler, mentioned as part of the Danny Biederman's collection of "Hollywood spy movie memorabilia" 2002; it could be the brown bowler hat.