Inscribed Card with Hand-Drawn Piano - 1953
A beautiful and florid signature with Liberace’s trademark hand-drawn piano, on a light brown card inscribed “To Aimee and Percy, Liberace”, and dated April 24, 1953. In very good condition.
LIBERACE (1919-1987), born Wladziu Valentino Liberace, was a famous American entertainer and pianist of Polish and Italian descent. Liberace began playing the piano at four and while his father took them to concerts to further expose the children to music, he was also a taskmaster demanding high standards from the children in practice and performance. Liberace’s prodigious talent was in evidence early. He memorized difficult pieces by age seven. He studied the technique of the famous Polish pianist and later family friend Paderewski and at eight, he met the great pianist backstage at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, “I was intoxicated by the joy I got from the great virtuoso’s playing. My dreams were filled with fantasies of following his footsteps… Inspired and fired with ambition, I began to practice with a fervor that made my previous interest in the piano look like neglect.”
By 1953 (when this card was drawn and signed) having earned sudden wealth, Liberace spent lavishly—incorporating materialism into his life and his act. In this year he designed and built his first celebrity house, with a piano theme appearing throughout, including a piano top shaped pool. His dream home with its lavish furnishings, elaborate bath, and antiques all throughout, added to his appeal. Following up on the show business adage “When you’re hot, you’re hot”, he shamelessly leveraged his fame through hundreds of promotional tie-ins with banks, insurance companies, automobile companies, food companies—even morticians.
Liberace’s final stage performance was at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on November 2, 1986. His final television appearance was on Christmas Day that same year on the recently-aired Oprah Winfrey Show TV talk show. He died at the age of 67 on February 4, 1987 at his winter house in Palm Springs, California.
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