February 21st, 2008

carole lombard 04
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"Still" place your bids on Lombard

The good folks at Heritage Auction Galleries are holding another auction of film memorabilia, and this time around, the magic word for Carole Lombard collectors is "still" -- not as in moonshine whiskey (we doubt Carole owned one of those), but as in publicity stills, something Lombard was seen in as often as any star of her time.

Heritage has 10 vintage Lombard stills up for grabs -- the real thing, not reproductions -- and if you're a collector of Carole, or have thought about becoming one, these items might be worth investigating.

Minimum bids for all but one of the 10 begin at $100. The lone exception is a still, shown below, taken by Robert Coburn to promote what would be her final film, "To Be Or Not To Be"; bidding there begins at $200.

Half of the 10 were taken at Paramount, Lombard's home studio from 1930 to 1937. Of the five, this is probably my favorite, promoting her upcoming film, "Rumba." This outfit, and the Greek bust she's leaning on, makes Carole look as if she just came down from Mount Olympus to consort with us puny mortals...and maybe she did:

But the back of the photo reveals it's actually the handiwork of Travis Banton, who could elevate nearly any woman into a goddess:

In addition to United Artists' "To Be Or Not To Be," the other pictures come from Columbia (two for "Lady By Choice"), Warner Brothers and RKO {Lombard with Cary Grant for "In Name Only").

Posters are usually the most sought-after items of memorabilia, and perhaps the best that Heritage has on hand is this ultra-rare one-sheet for "It Happened One Night." Simply put, it's a wow, and expect the winning bid to be well into five figures, if not six:

To see the Lombard items, go to http://movieposters.ha.com/common/search_results.php?Ntt=carole+lombard&Ntk=My_ItemTitle&type=amernws-tem022008&N=54+793+794+792+. To learn more about the movie posters offered, visit http://movieposters.ha.com/default.php?ic=task-movieposters
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