This is a one-of-a-kind piece of classic film history and work of art from the golden age of Hollywood Cinema. For sale is a stunning 1927 painting of famous 1930s film star Ruby Keeler, meaning it was commissioned before she made her rise to fame and first appearance in a motion picture, the 1930 film Show Girl in Hollywood.
Therefore, Keeler personally commissioned, sat for, and owned this painting one year before her marriage to legendary and controversial comedian / actor Al Jolson. There is handwriting on the back of the painting identifying the subject and year of its creation which, due to the letter shape and peculiar inconsistencies of capitalization, strongly resembles the non-cursive handwriting of Jolson reading "My Knee Prints" next to his knee prints in the cement at Hollywood Boulevard. I have included a comparison picture of these handwriting samples to demonstrate the resemblance.
The handwriting has not yet been reviewed by a professional handwriting analyst to definitively confirm that Jolson is the author, hence the lower price of this piece, but if you have the handwriting authenticated, the value will increase dramatically. This piece was also reviewed at an official Antiques Roadshow event, where a representative determined that the piece was reframed due to the fragility of early twentieth century canvas backings, hence the lack of an artist's signature.
The representative added that Keeler's "incredible fame" and "loveliness" contributes to the value of the piece, as her face only adds to the beauty of a space. The frame, although it comes as-is in scuffed condition (see pictures), is itself also antique. The dimensions of the painting in the frame are as follows. Keeler was a multi-talented actress, singer, and dancer who appeared in approximately fourteen films from 1930 to 1989, often with lead roles alongside stars like Bebe Daniels, Dick Powell, Ginger Rogers, and more. She was among the first singers to popularize the well-known musical piece 42nd Street during her second film of the same name and was married to arguably the most famous entertainer of the twentieth century, Al Jolson, from 1928 to 1940.
Keeler further had a stage career spanning decades, along with a brief television career, and was honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her many accomplishments. Keeler memorabilia is featured in several museums across the United States, and fan clubs dedicated to her and her career persist. This item is in the category "Entertainment Memorabilia\Movie Memorabilia\Other Movie Memorabilia". The seller is "usiii" and is located in this country: US. This item can be shipped to United States.