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Ken Walton, kenwal147@hotmail.com

I have a photograph signed by Humphrey Bogart that I wish to sell but as you will see below it comes with a story.  

titleDuring the 1939/45 war American soldiers were stationed in a camp near to our home in Yorkshire, England.    As a young boy I vividly remember tanks rolling down our street and me vowing that one day I would own my own 'jeep', which all the kids thought were terrific ~ unfortunately this never came to pass and I think I am a little too old now.  

Somehow, we gradually became friends with a Captain in the camp and it was suggested by my mother and father that 'limey' families within the area might open their doors once a week to say four (4) U.S. servicemen to hold afternoon tea for them to make them feel more 'at home' so to speak. i.e. 'apple pie' instead 'blueberry'!  

It came to pass and once a week we warmly received into our home servicemen from all walks of life.   On one such occasion during the conversation turned to the world of Hollywood and my mother stated that her favourite film star was Humphrey Bogart, one of the men present stated that his father was a movie director or someone high up the scale in Hollywood and that he had been around MGM etc many times with his dad. According to my mother the conversation eventually turned to other things and in the fullness of time the American forces went back to the US.  

Within about two or three months from the end of the war a framed photograph appeared in the post of H.B. together with a 'thank you letter' from this particular soldier stating that H.B. had signed it and that the photograph had been taken in his own home - the signature is fully readable but faded in part and states 'To my English friends with every good wish - Humphrey Bogart'  I have no reason to believe that this is anything but totally authentic - however, the letter that accompanied it has been lost over the years.  

titleI have looked in many areas of autograph collecting and asked many people about this photo and like myself, they have never seen one like it or seen one anywhere for sale.    Someone thinks it to be a studio sgned one - but someone else says he believes it to be real -  so its a quandry ---- to be honest I was going to place a simple advert stating it is for sale in the most prestigious Antique Magazine in the USA for any interested parties to contact me when I would send the story and photos.    Looking on autograph sites a signature of his is usually in the $2,000 to $3,500 dollar range but has far as I am concerned it is a great bit of history, a good party talking piece with a good story.

Then by chance I decided to look H.B. Fan Club up on the web and found your site and after reading through it thought you might know someone who could give it a good home be it "right or wrong" - hence this mail --- the signature is "faded in part" but it is all readable - the picture is fine.  

The picture inc. the frame is 10' x 8' which I believe was the standard size at that time in the contemporary style frame that it arrived in (which studio copies were never sent in).

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