Description

    Vintage Autograph Books of Famed Bordello "Madam" Polly Adler, Signed by Orson Welles, John Garfield, Peter Lorre, Frank Sinatra, George Raft, Charles Laughton, and Over 100 More. Colorful was the life and legend of Polly Adler, who in 1914 at age 14, fled Russia for New York and, in 1920, opened a New York City bordello -- under the personal protection of gangster kingpin Dutch Schultz. She defied the Seabury Commission in the early 1930s, refused to divulge any mob connections to police, eluded authorities by moving her brothel from apartment to apartment, and eventually retired from prostitution in 1944 -- after at least 17 police hearings. She began college at age 50 and authored the 1953 best-seller A House is Not a Home. These autograph books date from the early 1940s when Polly was still in "the business," to 1960, when Polly was a long-retired Los Angeles celebrity. Book no. One, with black leather cover, includes signatures and inscriptions from Frank Sinatra, John Garfield (who writes "Polly want a cracker?"), Burt Lancaster, Orson Welles, Gladys George, Huntz Hall (who writes "Crime doesn't pay" and identifies himself as one of the "Dead End Kids"), Milton Berle, George Raft, Peter Lorre, and "Walter Liberace" (as the famous entertainer signed his name in 1942). The book includes over 70 autographs as well as hand-drawn caricatures and cartoons, including a pencil depiction of a couple in copulation, cryptically signed "Jack the Ripper." Book no. Two, with red leather cover and foreign stamps pasted into the first few pages, includes signatures and inscriptions from Liberace (who in 1949 signs only his last name, and adds a sketch of a piano), Ethel Waters, Evelyn Nesbit, Pearl Bailey, Charles Laughton, Turhan Bey, William Eythe, Cliff Robertson, Edgar Bergen (who added "and Charlie"), Sammy Fain (who added "I'll Be Seeing You," the title of the song he wrote), Tennessee Williams, Lowell Thomas, and J. Edgar Hoover (!) -- over 50 in all. Book covers are a bit scuffed and worn, but signatures are clean and neat -- Very Good to Excellent condition. Polly Adler died in 1962 -- in 1964, Hollywood made a film version of her A House is Not a Home, starring Shelley Winters as Polly; a 1994 film, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, featured Gisele Rousseau as the legendary madam. A highly desirable lot of signatures -- in uniquely historic form from the personal collection of one of the most "notorious" ladies of 20th century America. Excellent condition. Accompanied by James Spence Authentication auction LOA.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2010
    12th-14th Friday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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    Just received the catalog. Incredible! Never seen such a catalog and have been collecting since 1974. Congratulations!
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    Marina Del Ray, CA
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