Signature on Album Page + Vintage Photo - 1925
This is a large, bold autograph signed on ivory paper which has been glued to an album page, from the estate of Harold Floyd Severs, radio and TV personality from the 1920s to the 1950s. Some toning but none affecting this beautiful signature. Also included is a stunning vintage photograph of Valentino from his 1925 film The Eagle.
Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926) was an Italian actor, sex symbol, and early pop icon. Known as the “Latin Lover”, he was one of the most popular stars of the 1920s, and one of the most recognized stars from the silent movie era. His untimely death at age 31 caused mass hysteria among his female fans, propelling him into icon status.
In 1921, a silent film transported American audiences to a mysterious, faraway place – and introduced an exotic, erotic character to millions of fans. The Sheik starred a smoldering Italian immigrant named Rudolph Valentino and featured a title character who bore little resemblance to the venerated Arab leaders commonly known as sheiks. At the time of its release the film inspired a whole subgenre of desert romance, in which hot, swarthy Arabs kidnap reckless white women. Valentino’s playful treatment of the character captivated female audiences and established him as Hollywood’s first male sex symbol. Newspapers reported that young women were running off to the Middle East in the hope of being abducted by handsome Arabs.
Accompanying this genuine autograph is a rare and highly desirable original photograph of Valentino, a still shot from The Eagle, in which he is handsomely dressed as the Cossack Lt. Vladimir Dubrovsky, the “Black Eagle”. The photo bears a studio-stamped facsimile signature, “Sincerely, Rudolph Valentino”. On the back is a pencil notation dated 1926, “Received just [illegible] weeks before his death in August”. The photo is in warm black, ivory tones on thick vintage photographic paper. Minor creases and edge wearing, a few scattered marks and a very slight smear of dried glue, barely noticeable, is in the upper left corner, otherwise this photo is in fine condition, especially given that it’s nearly 80 years old, and would frame up beautifully with the accompanying authentic autograph.
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