After more than five years of running this site, I like to think that by now I have some sort of expertise where Carole Lombard is concerned, but there's still one area where I have some trepidation...and that is regarding autographs. Can I recognize Lombard's penmanship enough to see an obvious fake? I believe I can. As for assuring that a signature of hers is the real deal, I defer to others.
So when I saw this on eBay...
...I sought advice from Carole Sampeck of The Lombard Archive. Asking her to confirm its authenticity, she said:
"You can take this one to the bank. Good as gold. A nice, clean early signature -- should have been during the Powell years or thereabouts, from the looks of it."
Here's a close-up:
The seller lists the item as a "Vintage Original 1930 Autograph," but since Lombard was known as "Carol" for much of 1930, not adopting "Carole" once and for all until that fall, the reference may be to the decade, not the individual year. Compare it to this Lombard autograph from 1933:
The autograph measures 4 1/4" x 6", and was part of an album collected by a mother and daughter from 1860 through 1980 (when the daughter was 94).
No bids have been made as of this writing; the opening bid is $149, with bidding scheduled to close at 10:04 p.m. (Eastern) July 1. Sampeck calls it a "lovely find, excellent price." If you've always wanted a genuine Lombard autograph, place a bid at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Original-1930-Autograph-CAROLE-LOMBARD-/330753096252?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d026bba3c.