Of the dozen or so Carole Lombard items available this time around, the prize is probably a 10 1/2" x 13" black-and-white portrait, one she happens to have autographed:
The inscription, printed in black ink, reads: "Shoty Dear-Thank you for your kindness to me. Love, Carole Lombard"
This of course begs the question, who is "Shoty"? (Or was it "Shorty"? While Carole was a very bright woman, spelling was invariably one of her weak points.) Otto Dyar took the portrait, and this picture is valued in the $2,000-$3,000 range.
Other notable items include this behind-the-scenes still from "Swing High, Swing Low" (that's cinematographer Ted Tetzlaff behind the camera and director Mitchell Leisen in the chair).
Here's a 1932 Dyar portrait, described on the back in this manner: "The most interesting gown-designed in Hollywood this year is worn by Carole Lombard in Paramount's Sinners in the Sun. The costume comprises a daring scarf of silver sequins that forms the bodice and a girdle and skirt of pearl satin."
Also on the back is a Photoplay magazine stamp from April 1932.
Check out this rare Columbia portrait, made to promote "Brief Moment," with this description on the back: "Carole Lombard, caught by the cameraman in a slightly pensive mood, presents a picture that is exquisite. Carole is the photographer's delight for her exquisitely modeled face, her sweeping forehead, and the effective frame of blonde hair, make a perfect combination for the portrait artist."
The portrait, by A.L. Whitey Schafer, is also from Photoplay's files, dated December 1933; handwritten notes in pencil read, "Please credit Columbia Pictures" and "Paramount contract."
There's also this splendid 1935 photo by Eugene Robert Richee, showing Lombard in a polka dot scarf.
Another remarkable auction item is only indirectly related to Lombard. It's an early draft of Clark Gable's last will from April 1942, while he was still mourning the loss of his wife and before he would enlist in the service. This is described as "an exceptional group of Gable papers," and one can only begin to grasp the heartbreak and despair that accompanied them. Its value is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.
For more on the auction, go to http://www.profilesinhistory.com/new/