Carole Lombard and Clark Gable probably didn't see much sun (lower case) during their stay at Johns Hopkins Hospital in wintry Baltimore, as 1940 turned into 1941. However, they probably saw a lot of the Sun (upper case).
As in the famed Baltimore Sun, once the home of sage H.L. Mencken and coverage of Washington (government) news that often outdid D.C. rivals. (Actually, there was a morning Sun and the now-defunct Evening Sun, two different entities; they were often referred to as the "Sunpapers.")
The newspapers, locally owned for decades, were eventually sold to Times-Mirror (owners of the Los Angeles Times, among other dailies), a firm which in turn was sold to the Tribune Corporation. And just as the company recently sold vintage photos from the Chicago Tribune, now it is doing likewise with the Sunpapers' photographic archive. (Will the Times, a likely treasure trove of classic Hollywood-related images, be next to auction off items? We'll have to wait and see.)
The photo above, minus the crop marks, is from Dec. 31, 1940, showing the couple's arrival at Hopkins. Here's what the back looks like, including a watermark with the Sun logo:
The Dec. 31, 1940 stamp is visible, and this picture was also used in June 1980 for an "I remember" story. Underneath those dates, you can faintly make out a "Jan 17, 1942," so this photo was probably used to accompany the story on the plane crash.
While that is the only locally-generated Lombard photo being auctioned, there are several more photos of interest from Sun archives. Take this one of Carole with William Powell from Sept. 26, 1933, barely five weeks after their divorce had been granted:
Here's the photo as it actually exists (minus the watermark, of course), from front and back, with (most of) the snipe:
Back to Lombard with Gable -- a photo, taken just after their marriage, which apparently arrived at the Sun on April 4, 1939:
There are six photos in all, each with a starting bid of $24.99 -- and as of this writing, none of them have been bid on. Bidding is slated to close between 7:32 and 11:38 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday night. (Thanks to Tally for her work on these images.)
Want to get in on the action, or simply learn more? Go to http://stores.ebay.com/TribunePhotos/_i.html?_nkw=Carole+Lombard&LH_SellerWithStore=1&LH_TitleDesc=1&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_sasi=1&_sop=1.