I don't know when the first genuine color photograph of Carole Lombard was taken, but this is almost certainly the first genuine color photograph magazine cover of her; it's from Hollywood magazine of November 1935, hitting the newsstands at just about the time "Hands Across The Table," her first top-tier Paramount vehicle, was beginning to hit theaters.
But there's more to this mag from a Carole perspective than a cover in "natural color." Inside, there's a story on her headlined "Carole Lombard Discusses -- A Woman's Dangerous Age," illustrated with two luscious Lombard shots in swimsuits, one dark, one light:
However, Carole's not talking about the dangers of tanning (ultraviolet rays and all that); no, from what I can read of it, this refers to a stage of a woman's life when she's at her most vulnerable. Since she says it's the early to mid-twenties, she has passed it (Lombard turned 27 that Oct. 6, though I can't tell whether this story shaves a year off her age, as publicity of the time often did).
"It isn't just Hollywood which matured me so quickly," she explained. "It's having worked for my living ever since I was fifteen."
Looks like yet another sample of Lombard's feminist philosophy that so often was found in fan magazines of the time (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/157005.html). And in an interesting sidelight, look who's profiled on the page facing her:
A feature on Clark Gable, several months before the two would begin to be linked romantically.
This issue has a few other items of note. Jean Harlow's mother has an "as told to" story in which she explains their relationship from her point of view. (From what we know now, this must be taken with a grain of salt. Heck, go to the grocer's and get an economy-sized box of salt; you'll need it for this story.)
The table of contents lists "Memories Of Will Rogers" (who had died in a plane crash that August), as well as stories on Mae West and Mary Astor, opposite an ad for "Broadway Melody Of 1936" ("You have waited 7 years for this!" Well then, where are Anita Page and Bessie Love?):
This issue is being auctioned at eBay, with bidding beginning at $35 (none have been made as of this writing) and bids closing at 11:13 p.m. (Eastern) Saturday. The seller describes it as "Very displayable. Very nice cond. Vibrant coloring. A little bit of edge/corner wear. Some edge ghosting. The image of Lombard is wonderful." (We knew that.)
To bid or simply learn more, go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-HOLLYWOOD-MAGAZINE-1935-JEAN-HARLOW-MAE-WEST-/380387932531?pt=Magazines&hash=item5890e33973. And to the winner in the bidding -- please fill us in on the Lombard story.
I wish everyone here a happy Thanksgiving, and that your holiday travels be safe and secure.