Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rudolph Valentino's Suit of Lights Jacket from Blood and Sand

I normally do not list personal effects, due to the fact they are difficult to authenticate; however, this is currently in a museum. This is Valentino's Suit of Lights Jacket from the film, Blood and Sand. I compared the photo of this jacket and questioned if this is the one he wore; however, I forgot he wore a vest underneath the jacket. The Jacket is housed at the FIDM in Los Angeles. This past summer the Jacket was on display in the Oklahoma City Museum of Art as a part of the Sketch to Screen: The Art of Hollywood Costume Design. This photo was taken by Jim Meeks.

Original costumes are extremely valuable and very difficult to care for and to display. This is one of the reasons most of these types of items are in museums. Most collectors do not have $20,000 to $30,000 laying around to purchase items such as this. I do continue to play the lottery, just in case.


  1. excellant post about the jacket, I would love
    to visit the official Rudolph Valentino museum in Italy.
    Funny thing is I have a pair of flats that I wear that look like the shoes he's wearing in the last photo.

  2. Would there were more Valentino items in museums where they can be properly preserved and many can enjoy them! Thank you for this fabulous post.

  3. Lindsay,

    That is a goal of mine as well to visit the Rudolph Valentino museum sometime, sort of a bucket list type thing. Are you sure your shoes are not 89 years old? Haha, maybe not.

  4. Ana,

    I know there are a few more costumes out there in museums. I remember in 1995 when I went to Hollywood for the 100th birthday party, they showed a film, and in the lobby was one of the costumes from The Son of The Sheik out on display that I believe was on loan from a museum. I felt like a kid standing outside of a candy shop looking in the window. I just kept thinking to myself Valentino wore that, Valentino wore that. Anyway, I digress, I believe a few of his cars are in museums as well. I will look for a few more personal effects from museums to post as well. I am snowed in here in St. Louis, we got over an inch of ice and sleet, with snow now covering that. Some areas in town are expected to get 1-2 feet of snow!

  5. I forgot that you are in St. Louis! I've been watching the Weather Channel. Yikes. I'm in Tampa. Florida that is. It's a balmy 60 out. My thoughts are with you, Sir.
    You sound like me, except I would weep in the presence of those costumes. Which is what I actually did when I FINALLY got my autograph yesterday. I'm talking sobs.I will send you photos tomorrow as I have to have my kids take them or scan it. Mine turn out abysmal. Yes, I'm one of THOSE moms. What a loser.

  6. Wow!! How exciting! It is great to obtain something he actually held in his hands or touched. I know that sounds ridiculous but it's true. Just practice on the scanner, once you get good at it, you will start looking around your house for things to scan.

    I can't wait to see your autograph. Congratulations again!

  7. It doesn't sound ridiculous to me. I understand completely. There's just something about Rudy. It's remarkable that almost 85 years after his death his popularity grows. This is after all a film star we are talking about.
    By the way, you must tell your story sometime, because I can't tell you how absolutely cool it is that a young, straight guy is such a huge fan.

  8. Haha, well sure I can tell my story. My mom has always been a big movie fan, when I was around 5 she had a couple of movie magazines. I picked up one and starting going through it. I stopped on the section about Valentino. I just remember staring at him thinking he was cool looking. They also had a photo of him in his casket, which was nothing I had ever seen before. My mom saw me staring at him and said, ah Valentino, the great lover. She went on to tell me when she was little her father would come downstairs from taking a bath with his hair slicked back, her and her siblings would say, hey look, dad looks like Rudolph Valentino.

    Fast forward when I was older, living with my dad, I was up late watching classic movies on AMC, back when they showed movies without commercials. It said, coming up next Rudolph Valentino in "The Sheik." I thought, oh cool, I will record this for my mom, she likes Valentino. I began taping it and fell asleep about 30 minutes into it. The next morning, I got up first thing and finished watching it. I remember thinking what a cool movie, I also remember thinking Valentino was so cool in the movie.

    I went to a local bookstore to see what books they had on Valentino. The only one they had was Madam Valentino, which was more about Natacha, but was still cool. I then went to the library where I found The Intimate Life of Rudolph Valentino by Jack Scagnetti. I could not put the book down. After reading the book, which by the way I still have, haha. I thought Valentino was such an interesting person. Also, in the book was photos of Michael Back's Valentino collection, which I thought was very intriguing. Before I knew it I was buying any Valentino movies I could find and hitting up local antique shops for sheet music, before I knew it, I had a small collection going. I utilized the photos from Michael Back's collection from Scagnetti's book as a reference guide to know what to look for. This was pre-internet.

    So, a long story even longer, I credit my mom for getting me into Valentino and I credit Michael Back for getting me into collecting. The reason I started this blog was for people to be able to see whats out there and for people who are interested in Valentino to hopefully get a little information on him. This way collectors do not have to take a photo-copied page from a book to keep track of whats out there like I did.

    The biggest question I get is, why Valentino? That's random, but, why not, I mean have you seen his films!

  9. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I first saw him on Masters of the Silent Screen on PBS before my family had cable. I fell in love with silent movies and Rudy. You had a great idea when you started this blog and I for one am very grateful that you did. It's a beautiful thing. Love the new wallpaper, by the way. Gorgeous collage.

  10. Ana, I totally forgot about the silent movies on PBS. I first saw a few Chaplin movies on PBS, I never did see any Valentino films on there; but, I did not watch it that much. So you watch a few of his films and the rest is history, so, I guess that's how a lot of us got hooked. Thank you for the kind words about the blog. Glad you like the new banner I created. I wanted to try to represent various items and various films. I like to update a few things from time to time.

  11. Lol, no my shoes are less than a year old!

    Also, great story about how you became a fan :)

    I became a fan of Rudolph Valentino, oddly enough after Marlon Brando mentioned his name in a '94 interview, he said to Larry King he seen him as a Valentino.

    I just pulled up some youtube videos to gather more information I was worked.

    In a weird sense I think they look similar, I see the resemblance the most in scene from Moran of the Lady Letty and the Wild One.

  12. I have been following your page on and off. Thank you so much for having this blog and sharing your story. I cannot remember when I first heard about him (sadly!), but I do remember it was maybe my Sophomore year in HS- almost 10 years ago! I too scoured the library and antique stores (but sadly I didn't find anything). I managed to start my collection via eBay though- saving my lunch money for those purchases! It is such a joy to see your posts (albeit I am a bit jealous over all your goodies! haha!). Thank you for sharing with us!

  13. Alejandra,

    Thank you for following the blog, it is always great to hear from other fans and collectors. I feel I built my collection from ebay as well. I thoroughly enjoy sharing my collection as well as items I have found on ebay and other sites. Feel free to send me photos of items from your collection as well to post. Thank you again for following the blog, great to hear from you, good luck finding some new items out there!