vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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A Lombard lithograph with some Major Bugs

A real rarity has just come up on eBay -- an image of Carole Lombard few have likely seen. For one thing, it's a lithograph, not a photograph. For another, it was produced for a book of which only 800 copies were made.

Here it is, in all its glory:

Interesting drawing, although for me the face more evokes Lucille Ball than Lombard.

Some background: The book, called "Hollywood," featured assorted caricatures of entertainment figures, and was issued in a limited run in 1938. Here's thr front page, as well as a lithograph of George Burns and Gracie Allen:

George looks uncharacteristically distraught here, even if he was supposed to be a bit exasperated as Gracie's straight man. Perhaps he knew some legal problems were just over the horizon for him, problems that would also ensnare his good friend Jack Benny (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/2008/12/us-indicts-geor.html).

The caricatures were done by a man named Henry Major, a native of Hungary who worked for the Hearst chain for many years, and did drawings for them at the famed Bruno Richard Hauptmann trial in Flemington, N.J., in 1935. His partner in "Hollywood" was another Hearst employee who did some drawing of his own over the years -- sportswriter and humorist Arthur "Bugs" Baer. He was known for witty print comments, such as this description of an over-the-hill ballplayer thrown out trying to steal second base: "There was larceny in his heart, but his legs were honest."

Curiously, while Baer issued similar quips for most of the drawings, such as "A ventriloquist who married her dummy" for Burns and Allen, there is no such comment underneath the Lombard caricature -- just a listing of "Love Before Breakfast" and "Nothing Sacred" as recent credits.

If the Lombard lithograph strikes your fancy, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/1938-Carole-Lombard-Henry-Major-Bugs-Baer-Lithograph_W0QQitemZ290283101573QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item290283101573&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A3%7C65%3A1%7C39%3A2%7C240%3A1318. There is a "buy it now" price of $96.95, or you can bid; the auction will close at just after 6:30 p.m. (Eastern) Jan. 13.

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