August 7th, 2011

carole lombard 07
  • vp19

Carole goes Art Deco

The publicity portraits Carole Lombard made for Pathe provide an idea how she was shaping her image as she aimed for stardom in the new art form called talking pictures. (For more on her Pathe stills, go to With most, if not all, taken by William E. Thomas, some of the photos are racy, some elegant, some frankly a bit bizarre. Others place Carole in a contemporary context, emphasizing her modernity. Here's one which does just that, Pathe CL-180:

There's a snipe on the back as well, which reads, "Carol Lombard, P.D.C. featured player whose next picture will be 'The Racketeer' with Robert Armstrong, and she recently appeared in 'Big News,' released by P.D.C." (PDC is the reorganized Hodkinson company, which Pathe acquired in the early stages of the consolidation that ultimately created RKO.) The photo probably was issued in the late summer or early fall of 1929.

This is an 8" x10" sepia original with Lombard looking quite stylish in what looks to be a cloche hat of the period, and this photo is being auctioned at eBay. The minimum bid is $75 (no bids have been made as of this writing), and bidding closes at 9:26 p.m. (Eastern) this Saturday. If you're interested, go to
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