vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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The mystery Paramount portrait

carole lombard swimsuit 02

Many Carole Lombard fans deem the photo above her best pic in a swimsuit, but while it's astounding, it's also confounding. That's because no one has been able to determine what its Paramount p1202 number is; the white-on-white background makes it impossible to read.

The same situation applies with a recent item of Lombard memorabilia now on sale at eBay. Take a look at this image:

carole lombard p1202-149xb

Attractive pic, but what's its p1202 number? I could only make out the first two digits, "14." So I messaged the seller, who responded this way: "P1202-149 it looks like. The final # blends into the white of her arm, so I can't tell for sure."

We know it's not p1202-149, which would be from fairly early in Carole's Paramount tenure -- but this almost certainly is from 1936 or '37. So there's a fourth digit, but what? We know it isn't p1202-1491...

carole lombard p1202-1491d

...or, for that matter, p1202-1499:

carole lombard p1202-1499b front

But there's another one in the 149x group that looks almost like a match for our mystery pic -- almost. It's p1202-1494:

carole lombard p1202-1494b

Carole's right hand is posed slightly differently, and while you can see her left hand near her ear in the pic that's on sale, it's hidden from sight in p1202-1494. So no definite answer, though it wouldn't surprise me were it to be p1202-1493 or 1495. (Somewhere there has to be a complete catalog of Lombard's p1202 Paramount portraits!)

As for the photo itself, it's 8" x 10", struck from the original negative and in fine condition. It's selling for $20, and can be yours by going to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-8x10-Photo-H9316/381074196738?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3D788eac9427e54df1b39f59fd42bc3e77%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D20131017132637%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D381076794933.

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