Wednesday, November 16, 2011

1922 Personalized Autographed Photo

This is a fantastic example of an autographed photo of Valentino, it is dated 1922. He personalized it to Hazel, The Will O'the Wisp. Thanks to Fiferstone for the update on the term Will O'the Wisp, which I originally misread as wisdom. There are many terms to define this saying, the most interesting I found was "Ghost Lights," or "Orbs." Knowing that Valentino had a spirit guide and had an slight interest in the occult makes this autograph very unique. When I save photos to later post on the blog I often save any information, I have with the photo, in this case I saved the name, Hazel Beamer Miles. I assume this is the Hazel he addressed on the photo. I was unable to find any information on her. I am unsure if she worked in the business, or was simply a friend of Valentino's. If anyone has any further information, let me know.


  1. Actually, when I enlarged the photo I think the inscription reads "Will o'the wisp" - a phrase that has fallen out of common use, meaning a ghostly light seen at night or twilight over bogs, swamps, and marshes. It resembles a flickering lamp and is sometimes said to recede if approached. :Thanks Wikipedia:

  2. Fiferstone, thanks for the update, I appreciate it!

  3. I think you may have the name wrong, but I can't say for sure. Hazel Beamer was born in 1901 in Thomasville, GA (my hometown and current residence). I don't know of Miles being part of her name, but that was her son's name. She graduated from Thomasville High School in 1918 and went to Columbia University to study dance. She was discovered by Florenz Ziegfeld and spent a number of years in the 1920s performing in the Ziegfeld Follies and twice on Broadway, in "Sky High" and "Mayflowers," both shows produced by Lee & JJ Shubert. I understand she and Valentino appeared in a show together, and she snuck into his dressing room to try on one of his costumes. An artist friend (Ben Ali Hagan) who "caught" her in the act sketched a drawing of her in his costume entitled "The Bad Girl," which is in the collection of the Thomas County Historical Museum. She later married a Dr. Cutler (from Vermont, I understand) and had two sons, Miles (born 1935) and John (1938); they lived in Thomasville. Hope that's helpful. Rick Ivey

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  4. Hazel Pellant and later Hazel Williams and was a friend of Valentino's that performed with him in Vaudeville. Hazel was a rebel of her time traveling across the US as a single female.