A Greta Garbo personal makeup case, c.1926, from her interpreter Sven-Hugo Borg

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Lot 93
A Greta Garbo personal makeup case, c.1926, from her interpreter Sven-Hugo Borg

Sold for US$ 5,100 inc. premium
Property of Various Owners
A Greta Garbo personal makeup case, c.1926, from her interpreter Sven-Hugo Borg
A tan leather case with leather carrying handle and white metal closure and lock, the top hand-tooled with initials "G.G." in metal studs, the interior with five black-and-white photographs of Garbo with Sven Borg and others, including one photograph of Garbo holding this case, signed on leather in black ink by approximately 68 co-stars and other celebrities including Joan Crawford, John Barrymore, Ronald Colman, Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks (Sr. and Jr.), Edward G. Robinson, Gloria Swanson, Lionel Barrymore, Lon Chaney, Mary Pickford, Marion Davies, Loretta Young, Norma Talmadge, Paul Muni, Ramon Novarro, Richard Dix, Tom Mix, Vincent Price, Walter Pidgeon, William Haines, Sven-Hugo Borg, and many others.
8 x 13 1/2 x 3 in.

Footnotes

  • Sven-Hugo Borg's appointment in 1926 as Greta Garbo's interpreter during her early MGM days slowly developed into that of personal assistant and good friend, the latter of which Garbo had few. He helped ease her anxiety during filming and was instrumental in her ability to communicate with others (though she often kept to herself). Borg remembered Garbo in the fondest of terms as a woman who, once she learned to drive, was a speed demon; loved children; and slowly built up her confidence enough to hold her own with the MGM bosses. He was an eyewitness to the infamous love affair between actor John Gilbert and Garbo and later remembered "some instant spark, some flash seemed to pass between them the instant they looked into each other's eyes," an experience that was painful to Borg, who had admittedly fallen in love with Garbo himself. Borg (a handsome young Swedish actor) maintains that he and Garbo were romantically involved and that Garbo ended their affair when Gilbert came on the scene. The pain was so acute that Borg quit his job at MGM, with Garbo giving him her makeup kit as a parting gift. The makeup kit can be seen in several photos of Garbo and Borg on the set. Over the years, Borg would ask the various celebrities with whom he came into contact to sign the box; thus the many signatures. As the signatures began to fade with time and in an effort to preserve them, Borg traced over some of them with black ink. Though not ideal, this action has preserved the signatures for decades, many of which would assuredly have disappeared otherwise. Borg bequeathed this makeup kit to the consignor, whose family was close to Borg and at whose childhood home Borg was a frequent dinner guest.
Contacts
A Greta Garbo personal makeup case, c.1926, from her interpreter Sven-Hugo Borg
A Greta Garbo personal makeup case, c.1926, from her interpreter Sven-Hugo Borg
A Greta Garbo personal makeup case, c.1926, from her interpreter Sven-Hugo Borg
A Greta Garbo personal makeup case, c.1926, from her interpreter Sven-Hugo Borg
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