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