Not long ago, we did an entry about a fraudulent autograph of Carole Lombard that was being peddled (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/342123.html), and Carole Sampeck of The Lombard Archive added a comment on deceptive sellers. Well, yesterday she took time out from celebrating the first-ever postseason series win by her beloved Texas Rangers to alert me to another obvious fake making the rounds. (Incidentally, the signature above is the real deal, although I'm not sure whether Lombard used a white ink pen to actually sign it or whether it was reproduced. Whichever, it's definitely hers.)
I had called my earlier entry "Caveat emptor!" (let the buyer beware); Sampeck labeled this one "caveat emptor redux." And this fakery would almost seem funny were it not for the very real danger that somebody might get taken.
Here's what the item in question looks like from a distance:
From that perspective, you might give it a cursory glance and approval. But a closer inspection shows something is wrong; not only is there no "e" in her first name on a photo that was taken long after she had adopted the "e" for good, but the "o" and the "a" are transposed, leading to a signature of...
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you..."Coral Lombard."
Okay, we know Lombard wasn't a particularly good speller, but one presumes she at least knew how to spell her name. Or, as Sampeck humorously surmises, "Gosh, she must've been loaded" when she signed it. My initial excuse, er, explanation was that she might have been thinking of the actress Coral Browne, but apparently she was still in Britain in the mid-1930s, and would've been a teenager to boot, having been born in 1919. (Browne today might be best known for her marriage to Vincent Price -- someone Lombard may have known -- but Browne and Price didn't meet until 1973, marrying the following year.)
Oh, and from the look on Lombard's face in this photo, she apparently senses something is amiss:
Maybe that look derives from the price the seller is asking for this photo: $199.
I'm not going to dignify this absurdity by providing a URL, but I will say it is from a company called, ironically, "Guaranteed Autographs." Yeah, right.
When it comes to this phony stuff, I used to be disgusted; now I try to be amused. And along those lines, here's Elvis Costello with a song containing that phrase -- "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes." Costello still performs that song when he tours in rock mode (the man is a musical encyclopedia, doing everything from jazz to country to classical!), but here he is when the song was new, and so was he...back in 1977, when he made his first appearance on the famed UK music program "Top Of The Pops." In fact, I believe this performance predates the Attractions, as his backing band then was a group named Clover. Don't feel bad that they didn't stay with Costello, however; they wound up as Huey Lewis' backing band, the News.