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Posted by vp19 on 2014.02.06 at 22:44
Current mood: morosemorose

carole lombard 011442d chicago dining

Carole Lombard is shown dining in Chicago on Jan. 14, 1942, two days before her death that stunned Hollywood and a nation. But while her sudden passing left Clark Gable with deep grief, another, more mundane effect was that bills she would have paid through her considerable bank account now had to be resolved through her estate…a messy state of affairs for anyone confronted with the unexpected death of a spouse.

An example of this is now up for auction at eBay — a court document Gable signed as executor of the estate:

carole lombard clark gable 071542 saks estate 00a

The claim was for $375.81, and came from Saks FIfth Avenue on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, which opened in 1938. Here’s how the store looked in the early 1940s (it still stands, though it’s been enlarged several times):

saks fifth avenue beverly hills early 1940sb

The notice was forwarded in February 1942 and made official in March:

carole lombard clark gable 071542 saks estate 04a
carole lombard clark gable 071542 saks estate 03a

The items Lombard had bought were listed along with dates of purchase, though we don’t know whether she actually visited the store, phoned in the purchases or did a bit of both. They dated back to Nov. 22, 1941, when Carole still was working on “To Be Or Not To Be.”

carole lombard clark gable 071542 saks estate 05a
carole lombard clark gable 071542 saks estate 06a
carole lombard clark gable 071542 saks estate 07a

The bill was paid in March and legally confirmed in July.

I’m guessing some of those purchases, particularly those from late November, were Christmas gifts she gave to friends. Other items bought included numerous pairs of shoes and hose, and a snow suit she may have returned. After Lombard’s passing, many of these items probably were given to Jean Garceau, Clark and Carole’s personal secretary, or other friends of the couple.

The Gable signature has been authenticated, although for the life of me I couldn’t imagine anyone faking a signature on such a sad document:

carole lombard clark gable 071542 saks estate 08a

The seller says the document “is folded up and has some rips and tears.” I assume that’s “tears” as in torn, although given Gable’s emotional condition the other meaning could apply, too.

Six bids, the highest $26, have been made as of this writing; bidding is scheduled to end at 5:08 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday. If you’re interested in placing a bid or want to learn more, visit

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Posted February 6, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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