November 23rd, 2008

carole lombard 07
  • vp19

Saveriana's legacy to Lombardiana

Several times over the past few months, we've run entries on vintage Carole Lombard photos being auctioned at eBay from the estate of one Joseph Saveriana, a decorated war veteran from Clifton, N.J. who ran an excavating business and whose hobby was collecting autographs and pictures of celebrities.

While I have yet to come across any Lombard autographs he owned -- I'm not sure whether he was collecting while Lombard was alive -- he certainly acquired many of Carole's still photographs. And for those of us with interest in Lombard memorabilia, he has left us a gift of many images that, for one reason or another, have slipped through the cracks of time.

Some sellers list "rare" Lombard pictures -- and perhaps they genuinely are originals -- but the images themselves are fairly commonplace, seen in books and other sources. In contrast, most of the Saveriana stills haven't surfaced anywhere else, and as such, they are a treasure trove to those of us who are enthralled by photographic portraits of this fascinating lady.

Here are three examples of what I mean:

I'm guessing this was taken sometime in 1937; it's p1202-1416. We've seen Lombard in similar dress and background in some other shots, so this likely comes from that session -- but it's a relatively uncommon pose, sort of like an alternate take of a recording. While this one was actually issued, it may not have been as widely distributed as others from that shoot.

Was this elegant portrait done for Paramount? According to the seller, it is, but there's no Paramount marking or "p1202-" listing. Whatever, it's quite stunning.

This one is p1202-1631, meaning it's probably from late 1937, near the end of her Paramount tenure. Here, Carole proves "smile" and "seductive" aren't mutually exclusive.

To bid on the first photo, go to

The second is at

And you'll find the third at

Bidding on each of the items starts at $15; none have received bids as of this writing. Bidding concludes just after 8 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday.

Thank you, Mr. Saveriana, for preserving these rare artifacts of Lombard memorabilia.
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