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carole lombard

Busting out in beauty

Posted by vp19 on 2011.02.18 at 09:47
Current mood: amusedamused
While monitoring eBay for intriguing Carole Lombard memorabilia, it's often easy to spot the handiwork of particular sellers even from the thumbnails -- a particular description or style in the listing gives it away.

One of these sellers invariably uses terms such as "sexy," "leggy" or "busty" to describe a photo, although the third adjective almost never is accurate where Lombard is concerned. (Had Carole been born 20 years later and come to prominence in the 1950s, she might have had to market herself as an Audrey Hepburn-style gamin; she certainly wouldn't have been seen as a rival to the buxom likes of Marilyn Monroe or Jayne Mansfield.) This seller, perhaps hoping said terms will bring potential buyers to the site, also tends to use "sexy" in the most questionable of contexts (the bond rally?).

Okay, now that we've got that "rant" out of the way, a photo -- and an attractive and rare one -- even though it's headlined "CAROLE LOMBARD BUSTY DBLWT Original 8X10 Photo." ("DBLWT" is an abbreviation for "doubleweight," a common term for photo memorabilia.) Is she "busty" here? Decide for yourself:

I personally don't think there's much heft to her bosom here (one of the reasons Lombard rarely wore a bra), but that's not the point, pardon the pun. What matters here in Paramount p1202-810 (placing it sometime in 1934) is that we see Carole in an attractive gown, and we know the man in the photo is studio design maven Travis Banton. But who's the woman?

Fortunately, we have an answer, because this original doubleweight photo has a snipe on the back:

It reads:

CAROLE LOMBARD, Madame Frances Spingold, famous New York designer, and Travis Banton, Paramount stylist, declare that Carole's blue chiffon gown she wears in scenes of "Now And Forever" will create a new trend in evening gown creations. Banton is a former pupil of Madame Frances', having studied with her in New York ten years ago."

Did her blue chiffon gown (thanks for describing the color, Paramount publicists!) create a new trend? We'll let the fashion historians answer that. But it's a stunning photo, and it can be yours -- but you don't have much time. The photo, in very good condition, is being sold for $44.99, and the deadline for purchase is 9:43 p.m. (Eastern) tonight. Interested? Go to http://cgi.ebay.com/CAROLE-LOMBARD-BUSTY-DBLWT-Original-8X10-Photo-/400189404006?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d2d25b366 to learn more.

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