January 9th, 2008

carole lombard 03
  • vp19

A "holy grail" found. Well, sort of.

Every memorabilia collector has, at one time or another, his or her own "Moby Dick," an item sought so desperately he or she can (figuratively) taste it. For me, I've been Captain Ahab on one particular piece of Carole Lombardiana, and a few weeks after this site's inception, I discussed it (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/5848.html).

If you're not in the mood to click the above, I'll rehash the info: it concerns a Lombard still picture I saw many years ago -- perhaps in a book, or someone's memorabilia collection, somewhere. It was seemingly based upon a movie from the early 1920s called "Orphans Of The Storm," directed by D.W. Griffith and starring sisters Lillian and Dorothy Gish, set in the tumult of 1700s France. Here's what the sisters looked like in the film:

For reasons known only to her, Lombard decided to do her own take on the subject, employing "trick" photography to turn her into twins. (If only she had been able to try a similar stunt in a film...and since she apparently was initially considered to star in Preston Sturges' "The Palm Beach Story," it might well have happened!)

In the entry, I ran the Gish picture, hoping that someone would have a copy of the Lombard version and send it my way. Alas, none did...until now, when Carole Sampeck of The Lombard Archive uncovered one she had in her vast collection. That's the good news. The bad? It's apparently a copy of a copy, and as such isn't in particularly good shape, similar to Michael Keaton's clone of a clone in "Multiplicity."

Without further ado, here's Carole, times two (apologies to Dr. Seuss):

Charming picture, isn't it? And imagine how amazing it would be in prime condition?

If you have a better version of this still, I implore you to send it this way (copy and paste is fine -- I'm not asking for the original!). The search continues...

The Indianapolis War Bond Receipts

Hi, Gang --

We do have one of the original Indy war bond receipts, but contrary to what was written in a couple of Lombard biographies, the signatures on the bond receipts were printed onto the receipts, along with the photos. None were hand-signed that we've been able to uncover. Keep in mind that the scene in the rotunda was a virtual madhouse, with thousands of people all very active at the same time.

It took the Archive many, many years to track this one down. I'll do my very best to dig it out of the files and get it scanned for you -- it doesn't scan all that well because it's printed in half-tone (the photo comes out looking peculiar, similarly to scanning a newspaper photo), but will see what sort of image I can obtain for you.

Vince, particularly in this month of January, the Archive and I personally want to thank you for all your fine work on this site. Your patience for research is indefatigable, and you've uncovered stuff even WE were barely aware of. Missy Carole would be mighty proud, and grateful for your devotion honoring her. I'm certain she's smiling in your direction.

Please feel to post this to the main thread; I tried to figure out how to start a new thread but was unable to do it on this particular computer I'm using (at a friend's house for the evening).


Carole (no, the OTHER one)

The Lombard Archive