A Mary Pickford group of love notes and telegrams from Douglas Fairbanks

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Lot 1220
A Mary Pickford group of love notes and telegrams from Douglas Fairbanks

US$ 1,800 - 2,200
£ 1,400 - 1,700
A Mary Pickford group of love notes and telegrams from Douglas Fairbanks
Comprising 35 telegrams, 13 handwritten notes, dated November 25, 1931 to December 25, 1936, various places including Paris, St. Moritz, the SS Bremen, San Francisco, London, Albuquerque, the SS Europa, and Hollywood. With the original envelope on which Pickford has written "Fairbanks 1934" and "Private."

The almost 20-year relationship between America's Sweetheart, Mary Pickford, and the swashbuckling and perpetually tan hero of silent films, Douglas Fairbanks, caused an international sensation during the late teens until the mid 1930s. Together they created what seemed like a storybook romance, complete with a beautiful home in Beverly Hills christened "Pickfair" by the media. They hosted royalty and the elite of Hollywood, made films that audiences loved, and formed United Artists with Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith. The public couldn't get enough of them. But their relationship was put under enormous strain and scrutiny. Factored in were their waning film popularity, their different temperaments, and Pickford's alcoholism, which teetotaler Fairbanks could not tolerate. The marriage could not withstand the pressure, and they divorced in 1936. This intimate archive of telegrams and notes are from the last 5 years of the couple's marriage. Still going by their pet names for each other, Hipper (Pickford) and Duber (Fairbanks), the telegrams reveal the poignant affection they had for each other and also the downward spiral of their last years together. By 1931, they were spending very little time together. Fairbanks was often traveling, and on December 19, 1931, not sure if they would be together for Christmas because of bad weather, Pickford cabled, "Christmas tree lighted to show the Duber the way home." Some of the telegrams were addressed by Mary to Lucien Rocher, Fairbanks' valet, in an attempt to obtain privacy. They often worried about each other, as Fairbanks writes in 1934: "Hipper darling no word in three days and don't understand am worried about your health and don't think it difficult for you to let me know something each day / Duber." He also bombarded her with love notes on small cards in an attempt to win her over again, with sentiments such as "Darling Baby Fairbanks," "Think of the Duber sometimes," "I love you Darling," and "For the only Hipper." In another telegram, Pickford does her best to console Fairbanks after an upsetting column about the couple was published by Louella Parsons. Particularly moving is the December 24, 1933 telegram from Fairbanks, which was on the heels of Pickford's filing for divorce on December 8: "Very sad but Merry Xmas / Duber." It was the first Christmas they had ever spent apart since the onset of their romance. The final telegram from Pickford to Fairbanks, no longer using his pet name, is dated December 25, 1936: "Greatly appreciated your cable Merry Christmas to you / Mary." Above the text, the cable says "undelivered" in Mary Pickford's handwriting.
7.5 x 8.5 in.
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A Mary Pickford group of love notes and telegrams from Douglas Fairbanks
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