Real fur never fell out of favor during Carole Lombard's lifetime (although she was a renowned animal lover), so it shouldn't be a surprise to see her in this outfit for a photo issued in late 1934 to promote her upcoming Paramount film "Rumba." We learn what type of fur it is from the back of this vintage image, p1202-971:
Yep, it's beaver ("the smartest of furs"), from an outfit designed by Travis Banton. And if you somehow thought that signature on the front of the photo belonged to Lombard, the "not an autograph" marking above the snipe should set you straight, and the seller isn't claiming it's the real deal. (Why someone would mark the front of a photo -- there are no crop marks indicating it was used for a newspaper or other publication -- is anyone's guess.)
Nope, here's what a Lombard signature looks like:
The story behind this is interesting. The seller's uncle was a newspaper columnist and movie critic. When he wrote a review, he would send a clipping to its star and he or she would write him back. (Presumably most of these reviews were positive.) He must have liked one of Carole's films, because this is what she sent him -- an 8" x 10" matte photo, with "Cordially, Carole Lombard" written in blue ink. (Yes, while Lombard was noted for signing autographs in green ink, that wasn't always possible.) The signature is certainly hers.
While the seller has no certificate of authenticity, these and other autographed photos were taken to an "Antiques Roadshow" appearance in Boise, Idaho, where the appraiser valued each of them. For this image, the value is $5,500, although any potential buyer can make an offer. You can find out more by visiting http://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-Original-RARE-Early-Signed-Photograph-from-Carole-Lombard/171226727714?_trksid=p2045573.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20002%26meid%3D4390696773322392706%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D8920%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D370993557231%26.
As for the beaver pic (and please, no double entendre), it's an 8" x 10" single-weight photo in very good+ condition; bidding begins at $24.95, with bids closing at 11:51 p.m. (Eastern) Friday. Interested? Bid, or get additional information, at http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-1934-ORIGINAL-PHOTO-GLAMOUR-FASHION-PORTRAIT-Travis-Banton-Fur/370993557231?_trksid=p2045573.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20002%26meid%3D4390897081064482261%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D8920%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D171226727714%26.
Given the cold spell in the East of late, I could use a fur...faux, of course.