It's a particularly odd still, since it wasn't apparently done with any upcoming film in mind. And its basic concept is a bit goofy, but it played to Lombard's puckish sense of humor. I'm guessing it was made sometime in the mid-thirties.
The photo's premise is based on a film Lombard probably saw in her youth, a silent movie set during 18th century France and starring sisters Lillian and Dorothy Gish. In "Orphans Of The Storm," released in late 1921 and directed by D.W. Griffith, Dorothy's character, a foundling raised as Lillian's sister, goes blind; Lillian, who hopes someone can cure her "sister's" blindness, is separated from her when she is abducted by an aristocrat. Sounds melodramatic, but it's considered one of Griffith's better later films and the Gish sisters are, as you would expect, terrific. Here's what they looked like:
Anyway, many years later, for whatever reason, Carole decided to pay tribute to the film, using period wear -- but since she didn't have a real-life sister, she used the magic of "trick" photography to portray both sisters herself! As I recall, there was a little humor to the photo, though it wasn't denigrating "Orphans" or the Gish sisters, whom Lombard certainly respected.
As I said, I saw this picture many years ago, but I have yet to find it again. If any of you have it, post it; if you know someone who does, have them get in touch with me. This is one of the prime Lombard rarities.
Since we don't have Lombard "twins," let's do the next best thing and post some pics of Carole and mirrors, providing us with multiple images. After all, this site promises "reflections on Carole Lombard & classic Hollywood"!
Seeing all those multiple images together is almost like viewing through a kaleidoscope, isn't it?