It's a stunning portrait, and with the way Lombard is surrounded by several layers, it's very nearly a 3-D effect, producing a painting-like texture. You don't see much of Carole's face here; the emphasis is on what she's wearing, a long, elegant dress.
Beyond that, I know very little. I'm guessing it was taken in the mid- to late-thirties. It could have been taken at Paramount, but I don't see a "P1202" marking (it could have been cropped out). Who took the photograph and who designed the outfit are similarly mysteries to me, although I wouldn't be surprised if the dress is a Travis Banton creation. I defer to the knowledge of fellow Lombard aficionados, as perhaps one of them has seen the photo or even owns a copy.
If you like the photograph, you can own it, too -- but you don't have much time. It's at eBay, specifically at http://cgi.ebay.com/Carole-Lombard-Beautiful-BW-Photo_W0QQitemZ290300373088QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item290300373088&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2%7C65%3A1%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318. No bids have been placed as yet (the minimum bid is $9.99), and the bidding stops at 8:55 p.m. (Eastern) on Tuesday.