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ROSCOE "FATTY" ARBUCKLE
Property from the Collection of M. WESLEY MARANS Lots 1 - 129 "I began collecting autographed photos in 1967. A goo d friend, Dr. Gerald Davidson, a psychiatrist, owned a rare autographed photo of gangster Al Capone. The richness of the image, together with the intriguing signature "spoke" to me. Just wonderful synergy. A few weeks later, I acquired from Godspeed's of Beacon Hill, Boston, about 15 autographed photos of celebrities. Most were made directly from the negative (as opposed to being a photograph of a photograph). I began to notice the characteristics of the signatures and inscriptions, and thus I was launched as a collector of important signed photographs taken by such famous photographers as Arnold Genthe, Edward Steichen, Julia Margaret Cameron, Phillipe Halsman, George Platt Lynes, Cecil Beaton, Matthew Brady, Yousef Karsh, Nadar, Silvy, Hurrell, Arnold Newman, and Alfred Eisenstadt. Almost all were in black and white or sepia (much more dramatic and accurate than colored photographs) and came from well known dealers and auctions. People from all areas of achievement--throughout the world--since the invention of photography in 1839 are represented in the collection. In May of 1981, I was asked to address the international convention of the Manuscript Society to be held in Boston. In conjunction with the convention, the Boston Athenaeum held an exhibition, entitled "This is My Favorite Photograph of Myself"--"the way the individual saw himself and the way he wanted to be seen by others." About 125 photographs from my collection were shown. The exhibition was very favorably reviewed by the national and international press. The following year the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston held an exhibition of over 200 autographed photographs from the collection--again to splendid television and print publicity. As a result, Little Brown & Co. approached me to write a lavishly illustrated book with the title of Sincerely Yours, The Famous & Infamous As They Wanted to Be Seen, in Autographed Photographs from the Collection of M. Wesley Marans. About ten years ago, I found it necessary to remove the main part of my collection from my home to a bank vault. Lately I have been reflecting on the enthusiastic response the two exhibitions and the book received. At the Kennedy Library groups of school children, as well as adults from all walks of life, were in awe of the photographic portraits and the history revolving around each one. Hence, I have come to the conclusion that just as I have enjoyed passionately collecting and the quest--as well as the photos themselves--so should others have this pleasure, rather than my locking the pictures in a bank vault, to be seen and enjoyed by no one. I would like this field of collecting to be perpetuated, therefore have made the decision to disperse the collection. A good many of the signed photographs in this sale are pictured in Sincerely Yours." M. Wesley Marans
ROSCOE "FATTY" ARBUCKLE

Details
ROSCOE "FATTY" ARBUCKLE
A 1915 photograph of the actor and director. The Melbourne Spurr of L.A. photograph features "Fatty Arbuckle" smiling, inscribed and signed To Alice Maison Sincerely yours Roscoe Arbuckle--10 x 8 in.

Lot Essay

"Roscoe Arbuckle joined Mack Sennett's Keystone Cops in 1913 and rose to stardom in a series of comedy shorts with Mabel Normand and Charlie Chaplin. At the peak of his success in 1921, and during a wild party in a San Francisco hotel, a scandal ensued from which he would never recover. A starlet named Virginia Rappe was seized by severe convulsions after allegedly being sexually assaulted by the actor, dying a few days later. Arbuckle was charged with manslaughter and was tried three times, finally acquitted. Irate public opinion caused his films to be banned and withdrawn from circulation forever."--W.M.


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