Okay, so the studio's name was actually pronounced "path-AY," sort of defeating the pun, but no matter. Officially, it's CL-197, a gorgeous photo of the young Lombard from 1929, when she was just 20, a recent Mack Sennett alumna still finding her way as a talkie starlet. (The seller lists it as being from "1929-30," but I'm pretty certain that by the end of 1929, Lombard was no longer a Pathe employee, and the photo series of her is known to extend to at least CL-225.)
The photographer isn't listed, but I'm guessing it's William E. Thomas, head of Pathe's photo department, who took more than his share of portraits of Lombard during her brief stay at the studio. His best-known shots of her are rather racy, but this proves he could also be sublime.
This 8" x 10" photo, said to be in excellent shape, can be yours -- but it won't come cheap. Bidding begins at $294.95, and closes at 11:15 p.m. (Eastern) next Wednesday. To learn more, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-Carole-Lombard-29-30-GORGEOUS-Portrait-/400204535821?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d2e0c980d.
Just something to excite you as we count the hours (about three) to the start of baseball season.