Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lobby Card from Moran of the Lady Letty

This is a lobby card from the 1922 film, Moran of the Lady Letty. There is not a great deal of memorabilia out there from this film. It was not a huge financial success. The lobby set, unlike most of Valentino's other films were in black and white. I still find these cards to be great pieces of Valentino memorabilia. I honestly do not think I have seen the complete set. Lobby cards are fairly valuable and great for framing. One note regarding framing and displaying any of your memorabilia, which you all will most likely already be aware of; but, keep items out of the sun, it really sun fades items over the years. All of my collectibles are in a room with no windows; however, if I lived in the Hollywood Hills I would have to display a lobby card or a poster in my living room. Something tells me I will never have that opportunity, it is just wishful thinking.

Photos from The Sheik

These are five photos from The Sheik. The Sheik is the quintessential Valentino film. The film co-starred Agnes Ayres and Adolphe Menjou. This is the film that truly launched Valentino into stardom. This was the first Valentino film I had ever seen, the rest is history. I highly recommend watching the version with the musical accompaniment from Roger Bellon. The following are a few photos not commonly seen from the film, the photo of Valentino and Menjou is from Ana's collection!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Swedish Blood and Sand Sheet Music

This is a rare piece of sheet music from Sweden from the film, "Blood and Sand." Sheet music, besides books, are my favorite items to collect in regards to Valentino memorabilia. Pieces of sheet music often depict scenes from the film or colorful, artistic depictions of the actors. I look at sheet music as in the same class as posters and lobby cards, they are of the same period and represent a tool to promote the film. This particular piece is not often seen, there are many other variations of sheet music from the film, Blood and Sand. As in this case the overseas variation is quite different that the U.S. editions.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rare 1978 Spanish Biography

This is a biography of Valentino from 1978, written in Spanish and published in Spain. The name of the book is: Valentino la seduccion manipulada by Antonio tello and Gonzalo otero pizzaro. The English translation of the title is Valentino, Manipulated Seduction. This is not a common book in the states, I am still on the lookout for one of these myself. There was a resurgence of Valentino in the 1970's. Movie stars from the 20's and 30's on a whole were again popular in the 1970's. For Valentino, there were a couple of movies made about him, along with numerous books written about his life and movies.

Vintage Italian Valentino Magazine

This is an Italian magazine called il mattino illustrato, which translates in English to The Morning Shows. I believe this magazine is from 1926. It depicts a profile photo of Valentino on the cover. I do not own this piece, I assume it is a magazine, it could quite possibly be a newspaper supplement. This is definitely not a common piece; but most likely would not be as sought after or as valuable as some of the colorful artistic covers. For someone like myself, it is another item I would have to have for the ever-growing collection of items I have no further room for, oh well, time to get rid of my childhood baseball cards.

Photos from a Rogue's Romance

These are rare photos from the 1919 film, A Rogue's Romance, starring Earle Williams. This is one of 7 films Valentino had a bit part in, in 1919. This was one of the many early films that was re-released when Valentino became a star. The studio's would often re-cut the film where Valentino's parts were played more than once, making it appear he had a bigger part in the film than he actually did. Just a few years after these films were released, Valentino was red hot and all of the studios wanted to capitalize. Original photo stills from the original release of these films are very difficult to find, most of the promotional material did not include Valentino. Three of these photos are from Frau Wulf, who has a great website by the way, definitely check it out!

Rare Sainted Devil Movie Poster

This is a rare movie poster from Belgium from the 1924 lost film, "A Sainted Devil." This is yet another great example of an overseas poster depicting different artwork that the common U.S. release edition. I had never seen this poster until now. This is truly a rare, and hard to find poster that would be quite valuable and would look great framed in my home somewhere.

Happy 117th Birthday Rudy!

Today is the 117th anniversary of Valentino's birth.  I thought I would list this stunning portrait taken by James Hargis Connelly.  To my knowledge, I do not remember seeing this photo before, unless it was in Donna's book.  There appears to be a signature at the bottom, my understanding is it is that of the photographer, not Valentino.  I find it to be such a fantastic vintage pose with a great play on the lighting. 

Anyway, Happy Birthday Rudy!  I know we have quite a few followers on the blog, feel free to share a Valentino story: maybe a favorite film and why, or how you got into Valentino, or maybe your favorite Valentino collectible and why.  Leave your stories in the comments as a birthday homage if you will.  If not, at least watch a Valentino movie, or treat yourself to a new item for your collection, just don't outbid me on ebay! Enjoy the day!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Valentino / Swanson Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film

This is an absolute fantastic series of VHS tapes that was produced in 1980 by David Gill and Kenneth Brownlow.  This is a 13 part series on silent film, distributed by HBO Video.  They produced an entire volume on Gloria Swanson and Valentino, each about 30 minutes long.  The documentary was narrated by James Mason, who has this great regal, British accent.  This is a fascinating documentary, not only on Swanson and Valentino, but the entire series, you will really learn a great deal about early Hollywood.  The entire series is available on YouTube.  I have linked the part on Valentino below, simply click on Valentino Documentary, it begins with the ending of the Swanson portion, then the Valentino part with begin, enjoy!

Valentino Documentary

Rare Movie Poster from Monsieur Beaucaire

This is a rare movie poster from the 1924 film, Monsieur Beaucaire. The poster depicts a hand drawn shirtless Valentino. This is one of those films that has many variations of artwork for their movie posters, especially the overseas versions. This is a poster that is not often seen and would be very valuable to any collector.

Belt Buckle Personally Owned by Rudolph Valentino

This is a belt buckle owned by Valentino, it was listed in the estate catalog and was believed to be used in the film, "The Son of the Sheik." This buckle sold at auction in 2008 for around $4,700, source: I did a little research on the belt buckle from the film. When I think of his belt from the film, I think of the part where Jasmin (Vilma Banky) complains while they are making out that the belt is pushing into her side. Valentino takes it off, then when attacked he reaches for a knife from his belt, but it is not there. That particular belt buckle from the film is definitely not the one that sold at auction, not to say it is not from film, he did have various costumes so it could have appeared in another scene. Regardless, it did belong to Valentino and is a great piece.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Glass Slide

This is a Glass Slide from the film, "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This slide is from the re-release of the film. Notice the glass slide states the return of The Four Horsemen and it also states, starring Valentino. When the film was first released he was not known as simply "Valentino." This slide matches the title card for the re-release as well. As stated previously, glass slides are difficult to find in excellent condition, most are broken, cracked, or chipped from improper storage. Many early slides were hand painted which brings a whole new level to collecting these, there are often countless variations of one slide. There are now reproductions of many of these slides produced today, unfortunately, I am not an expert in telling the difference between the two, I currently do not own any glass slides from his films, so beware of a few reproductions here and there.The photo is from

Five Photos from the film Camille

These are five photos from the 1921 film, "Camille." This was the 4th of 5 movies Valentino would star in, in 1921. His next picture was The Sheik, which launched him into overnight stardom. Valentino actually did not receive top billing for this film, Alla Nazimova did. She was actually a bigger star at the time; furthermore, her production company produced the film. The sets for the film were designed by Natacha Rambova, hence their meeting, later marriage and divorce. I am not a huge fan of Natacha; however, I have to give her credit for her art deco designs on this film, they really are fantastic. Overall, in my opinion, where Valentino fans are concerned, not his best film; however, I still found it very entertaining. I enjoyed the flashback scene where they are dressed in period clothing. It is fantastic this film is still in existence.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Young Rajah Newspaper Advertisement

This is a newspaper advertisement for the 1922 film, "The Young Rajah." This is an unusual ad for the film, that is not seen too often. As I have said time and time again, newspaper ads are not too difficult to find and are very reasonable. They look great in a scrapbook or in a framed collage. This ad lists the movie ticket prices, which are a few dollars less than today's prices, 35 cents for adults, or 25 cents for the matinee. 15 cents for kids, or 10 cents for kids for the matinee. To put that in perspective a loaf of bread during this time was about 12 cents a loaf, a gallon of gas was about 25 cents. I digress, from the interesting economic facts. This is a great example of a movie ad with artwork different from most of the promotional posters and lobby cards.

1925 Monsieur Beaucaire Filmiaitta Magazine

This is a 1925 magazine featuring Valentino and Bebe Daniels from the 1924 film, Monsieur Beaucaire. The magazine is from Finland and is called Filmiaitta. They often had Valentino on the cover and many were very colorful and artistic. Many of the vintage magazines depicting Valentino on the cover have vibrant colors similar to many of the movie posters and lobby cards for a fraction of the price. This one is definitely eye catching with the bright orange.

Blood and Sand Stamped Signature

This is a fan photo from the film, Blood and Sand. These photos which can be found from many of Valentino's films, such as The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Ealge, and even The Hooded Falcon, all have the same stamped signature. These are commonly mistaken for authentic autographs, as did I when I first received one as a gift. The most common trait that each of these photos have is the dented "a" in Valentino, this is a indication that the photo has a stamped signature. I have seen people try to trace these with blue or green markers to appear real; however, they are not, be cautious. Even though they are not authentic they are still from the 20's and some of these were actually sent out by Valentino himself. With that being said they are still fairly desirable, just not overly valuable. Don't think you can sell one of these and go buy a new car, more like a nice dinner, well, a semi-nice dinner.

Lobby Card from Cobra

This is a lobby card from the 1925 film, Cobra, co-starring silent vamp, Nita Naldi. This is great scene from the film, Valentino gets introduced to Naldi, Elise by her Grandmother; however, she already had a date that night. Her date gets upset and tells his friends, "Elise has been flirting with that indoor sheik all evening!" When the meet up, Valentino politely takes his ring off before punching him in the face and then proceeds to quickly approach the man's other two friends, as to say, you want some too? Anyway, I digress, the lobby cards from this film are not too common and very collectible, I am still looking for any of them myself.