This beautiful early 1940s movie studio fan photo of Olivia De Havilland bears a personalized inscription from De Havilland.
The picture is signed boldly in dark blue fountain pen: “To Lavinia – Very best wishes, Olivia de Havilland.”
One of Hollywood’s finest and longest living actresses, De Havilland appeared in 49 feature films and was the sister of actress Joan Fontaine. Who can ever forget her in her portrayal of Melanie Hamilton in “Gone With the Wind”? De Havilland brought beauty, charm and innocence to the screen. She was able to portray the sinister Miriam alongside Bette Davis in the thriller “Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte”, what an actress.
During the Hollywood’s hey-dey, the movie studios printed millions of such small souvenir photos intended to market their stars to fans across America who wrote in asking for autographs. This 5″ x 7″ size is one of the largest and most collected, though even smaller photos were also printed.
Many, but not all of these sorts of promo photos bear pre-printed, stamped or secretarially signed signatures from movie stars. Sometimes, one will have a genuine signature of the actor or actress, and in this case, the picture’s ownership history and provenance are important.
The photo was consigned to our auction as part of a large collection of movie star autographs collected by a woman who worked in the motion picture industry during the 1940s. She befriended many of the major stars of the day and managed to amass a large number of autographed photos.
In general, these vintage movie star fan photos which measure 5″ x 7″ or smaller usually only have a low auction value; depending upon the actor or actress featured, they can sell anywhere between $2 – $50 each. If they carry a genuine live ink signature of the star, they could be worth double – again, depending upon the star and the availability of that star’s signature.
Serious autograph collectors will typically prefer larger sized photos rather than these small ones, but the fan photos are a good entry level into collecting classic Hollywood signed photos.
If you’re interested in selling a Olivia De Havilland autograph or “Gone With the Wind” autograph at auction with us, check out our Hollywood memorabilia consignment page for more information.