Jean Harlow

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Jean Harlow

Jean Harlow Autographed Album Page

Fine, light pencil signature on autograph album page. Archivally framed in gold and cocoa tones. Accompanied by an original photograph by famed glamour photographer George Hurrell, printed by the Hurrell Studios from the 1934 negative on high-gloss photo paper. This scene, “Bearskin Rug”, is Harlow’s most well-known photo, and is accompanied by the photographer’s Hollywood studio Certificate of Authentication. The image, taken at Harlow’s home, was originally published as a full-page spread in Vanity Fair magazine.

As described by Vanity Fair at the time:

“In this iconic Hollywood image from 1934, photographer George Hurrell realized that the ideal prop for the sultry Harlow was a horizontal companion. Although Hurrell used sidelight here to simulate a roaring fire (to pretend that Harlow was merely lounging around at home on a winter night), he was known for his pioneering work with a new photographic tool, the boom light, which gave his pictures a peculiar clarity and coolness, as if illuminated by moonbeams. That nocturnal incandescence and pinpoint sharpness (in contrast to the gauzy diffusion many of his peers preferred) transformed Hurrell from a creator of studio publicity stills to a master of the glamour portrait.” © Condé Nast Publications Inc. January 1935

JEAN HARLOW (1911-1937, born Harlean Harlow Carpenter) was an American film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s. Known as the “Blonde Bombshell” due to her famous platinum blonde hair, and ranked as one of the greatest movie stars of all time by the American Film Institute, Harlow starred in 32 feature films and numerous short subjects, mainly designed to showcase her magnetic sex appeal and strong screen presence, before transitioning to more developed roles and achieving massive fame under contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Harlow’s enormous popularity and “laughing vamp” image were in distinct contrast to her personal life, which was marred by disappointment, tragedy, and ultimately, her sudden death from renal failure at age 26.

Consequently, authentic autographs by the young Jean Harlow are extremely scarce and highly collectible. Her mother, known as Mama Jean (and also named Jean Harlow) signed the vast majority of her daughter’s letters and photographs, and genuine autographs are both hard to come by and often suspect. Ours is guaranteed authentic, and comes with a third-party Authentication to back it up (UACC Registered Dealer #237; available for inspection on request).

MGM was where Harlow became a superstar. She was given superior movie roles to show off not only her beauty, but what turned out to be a genuine talent for comedy. In 1931, she had the starring roles in Red-Headed Woman , for which she received a salary of $1,250 per week, and Red Dust , her second film with Clark Gable. These films showed her to be much more at ease in front of the camera and highlighted her skill as a comedienne. Harlow and Gable worked well together and co-starred in a total of six films; she was also paired multiple times with Spencer Tracy and William Powell, whom she almost married.

As her star ascended, sometimes the power of Harlow’s name was used to boost up-and-coming male co-stars, such as Robert Taylor and Franchot Tone. Evolving tastes, plus the grooming MGM was noted for, changed Harlow from a brassy, exotic platinum blonde to the more mainstream, all-American type preferred by studio boss Louis B. Mayer; the screen Harlow at the end of her life was quite different from that of 1930, when audiences first took notice of her.

All Vintage Memorabilia autographs are unconditionally guaranteed to be genuine. This guarantee applies to refund of the purchase price, and is without time limit to the original purchaser. A written and signed Guarantee to that effect accompanies each item we sell.