The Witch's Hat

This is the “Wicked Witch of the West” hat worn by Margaret Hamilton in “The Wizard of Oz” (MGM, 1939). Used throughout the film, most prominently in the final “I’m melting!” scene, the Adrian-designed hat is constructed of black fabric with a wide, irregularly sided brim supported by a steel frame. It comes with a still photo from the film showing Hamilton wearing the hat. Cone headpiece height: 14″; brim widths (from crown): 5 1/2″ front, 8″ back, 5″ left, 5 1/2″ right. The first week of filming under director Richard Thorpe used a different Adrian creation, based on a traditional witch’s hat, with a perfectly round brim and center cone. In order to make the Wicked Witch appear more menacing and strange, the hat was radically redesigned so that the cone was offset and the brim was noticeably irregular and dipped over the Witch’s face to create a shadow. This scarier design became the style used throughout the film. In the Wicked Witch’s iconic final scene, where Dorothy accidentally splashes her with a bucket of water, Hamilton’s character bewails her doom by water, crying out, “I’m melting!” and “What a world!” as she gradually disappears. The last thing seen of her is this hat.