BARBARA LaMARR

Spectacular 10-5/8 x 13-5/8 double-weight semi-glossy chest-up studio portrait by Russell Ball, signed in black fountain pen, “‘For this is Wisdom -/to Love -/I wonder -?/Barbara.”   Fine condition, with indetectably trimmed borders; a small professionally repaired tear along the right edge, completely invisible when the photograph is viewed head on; and the writing, much of it penned against the dark feathers on her left shoulder, rather light and somewhat indistinct, although not necessarily faded.  Nicknamed “The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful, ” wildly popular silent screen diva Barbara LaMarr appeared in 29 films and went through five husbands before dying of tuberculosis at the age of 29. Along the way there were countless bouts of all-night partying, non-stop drinking, and, just to liven things up a little, plenty of hard drugs. Autograph material in virtually any format is exceedingly rare — after those all-night binges, she was probably barely able to hold a pen, let alone write her name.  This is the first signed photograph that I have offered in over a decade.

$1,500