WELLES, Orson, and [HAYWORTH, Rita].
RITA HAYWORTH LOVE LETTERS STASH FROM HUSBAND ORSON WELLES
Rita Hayworth's travelling makeup case, custom made by John Frederics, brown suede over board construction, with upper and lower tiers. The top tier features two side panels which lifts horizontally, and a center mirrored panel which elevates vertically. Inside are five monogrammed makeup containers and a hair brush and comb, strapped into place. The case has a brass plaque with the star's name on the top, with a suede overcase which secures with snaps. A second set of latches secures a large lower cloth-lined compartment in which were stashed a cache of beautiful love letters and sketches from husband Orson Welles. This archive comprises 8 autograph letters signed to a total of 23 pages, quarto, octavo and one 12mo, most New York, various dates in 1943, with 8 autograph envelopes addresed to Mrs. Orson Welles, most additionaly signed "Orson Welles" on the verso, with three watercolor sketches depicting a miserable young husband separated from his wife by work. There are also two autograph cards which accompanied flowers.
In 1943, the 28 year old 'boy genius' who two years prior had directed arguably the greatest film ever made in 'Citizen Kane' married the great love of his life, Hollywood screen siren Rita Hayworth. Their marriage lasted four years, unravelling on the set of 'The Lady of Shanghai', once again proving the adage about working with the one you love. But in these early letters Welles shows a side not often remembered, that surprises both by its intense romanticism and demonstration that when it came to Rita he was no longer the great Orson Welles, the brilliant artist who bested the captains of industry in their own arena. Or perhaps the greatness took another form. He was a man in love as deeply as a man has ever been. "Dearest Angel Girl ... I suppose most of us are lonely in this big world, but we must fall tremendously in love to find it out. The cure is the discovery of our need for company -- I mean company in the very special sense we've come to understand since we happened to each other -- you and I. The pleasures of human experience are emptied away without that companionship -- now that I've known it; without it joy is just an unendurable as sorrow. You are my life -- my very life. Never imagine your hope approximates what you are to me. Beautiful, precious little baby -- hurry up the sun! -- make the days shorter till we meet. I love you, that's all there is to it. your boy". This next bit is amazing: "Dearest Baby: I knew it would be lonely -- but this is even lonelier that I let myself fear ... I'm too blue for anything but the sonorous repetition of my love for you -- Oh how much there is of it ... I worked 'till midnight ... and what happened to me ... Ms. Parsons [NY gossip columnist] sat at a table by the door so I made Lennie [Leonard Lyons -- the prominent NY columnist whose son Warren is a consignor of other items in this sale] write an avadavit to my innocence -- in case she prints I'm out on the town without you" [full stop] This very avadavit is included in the lot, scrawled in pencil on the verso of a Stork Club chit, to wit: "I Leonard Lyons, being duly sworn, declare and say; 1. That I am a MALE. 2. That I phoned Orson Welles at 12:30, and asked him to meet me at the Stork Club. 3. That I have known him for 9 years, was his press agent without fear, and he cannot in all decency refuse me. 4. That we are sitting here alone, just we two, drinking COFFEE. 5. That Orson has refused to meet me in any more public places until the arrival of you his wife. Sworn before me this 25 day of October, 1943 Leonard Lyons." The avadavit is countersigned by Walter Winchell as witness. [back to the letter] "This is going to be my last saloon 'till you get here. [later that same night] "3:30" [coffee kicking in] "The late traffic yawns in the echoing streets below -- The wind whistles -- the rain drips Look I can't even write! Sweet one -- I can't live without -- you!" There's more to this group like the color portrait captioned "Another self-portrait of self-pity." [cut] We're way over budget.