We'll kick things off with this photograph of Carole, taken from the Indianapolis war bond rally, barely more than 24 hours before her death:
Lombard never deemed herself much of a singer, and for her to perform in public must have taken a lot of fortitude on her part -- especially since it was "The Star-Spangled Banner." But the patriot in her must have helped get her through those challenging moments, and the spirit she showed at the Cadle Tabernacle that night is evident here.
When I saw this photo, I thought there was a chance it had been published the morning after the rally, while Carole was still with us. Alas, that is not the case:
(As stated in previous entries, the Tribune logo seen here is a watermark, not on the actual photo.)
For some reason, this photo isn't being offered at the usual beginning bid price of $24.99 (as with the other three); one bid, for $9.99, has been made as of this writing. Bidding will end at 7:21 p.m. (Eastern) on Sunday, and if you'd like to learn more, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/CT-Chicago-Tribune-Photo-Carole-Lombard-/260641080667?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item3caf6b455b.
Next, another picture published posthumously, taken earlier that day while Carole was selling bonds inside the state capitol building. This comes from the files of the Chicago Herald-American, a Hearst newspaper that eventually became a Tribune property:
This unpublished photo has not yet been bid on, and the auction lasts through 10:15 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday. If interested, visit http://cgi.ebay.com/CT-Chicago-Tribune-Photo-Carole-Lombard-/260641096253?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item3caf6b823d.
The next two photos are from earlier, happier times. And how can you not be happy when seeing Lombard in a swimsuit?
Does the backdrop appear a bit strange? That's because it isn't real. There's no blanket or cloak behind Carole, just a painted-in background (the two squiggles on the left give it away) to set her off better for the finished product, an extreme vertical illustration:
Anyone here from Chicago? If so, I have an assignment for you. Go to a large local library, find the Tribune on microfilm from Aug. 9, 1937, and tell me more about the story that apparently accompanies this image. From what I can gather, it concerns the 25th anniversary of Mack Sennett in motion pictures, and it appears that from his many alumnae of beauties, he selected Lombard as "most attractive in a bathing suit."
You have until 9:45 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday to bid on this, at http://cgi.ebay.com/CT-Chicago-Tribune-Photo-Carole-Lombard-/250672495797?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item3a5d3ebcb5.
Now to go back even further, Lombard from August 1935:
The back of the photo reveals that it was used more than once -- first for the Hearst Herald & Examiner on Aug. 25, 1935, then by the Tribune on Aug. 1, 1976:
The '35 caption reads: "Carole Lombard, raptly studying an interior scheme in her new home, herself presents a colorful effect. Bound for the studio to work on 'Hands Across The Table' (Paramount), she is wearing a chic Fall suit of wool with softly folded revers. Covered buttons hold snug cuffs and dotted taffeta forms the ascot."
Bids will be taken on this one through 11:27 p.m. (Eastern) on Sunday; if this strikes your fancy, place a bid at http://cgi.ebay.com/CT-Chicago-Tribune-Photo-Carole-Lombard-/260641157141?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item3caf6c7015.
According to the firm handling this archive auction, there is "a rapidly expanding inventory" of Tribune photos, which means there may be more Lombard items coming up. Stay tuned.