Ideal vintage matte-finish 6.75 x 8.75 photo of Chaplin in near-profile, signed and inscribed in fountain pen, “To William Randolph Hearst, From Charlie Chaplin.” Double-cloth-matted and framed in a gold leaf frame to an overall size of 13 x 15. In fine condition, with trivial silvering to extreme right edge and moderate contrast to lead portions of inscription and signature against his dark suit. Chaplin’s relationship with Hearst remains curiously linked to a purported love triangle with actress Marion Davies—the publishing magnate’s well-publicized mistress—and the mysterious death of pioneer filmmaker Thomas Ince, a contemporary of D. W. Griffith. On November 16, 1924, Ince and many others, including Chaplin and Davies, boarded Hearst’s 288-foot yacht, the USS Oneida, for a weekend party to celebrate the director/producer’s forty-second birthday. Suspecting his mistress’s romantic involvement with Chaplin, Hearst invited the pantomimist on the voyage to observe Chaplin's interactions with his inamorata. Speculation still exists that upon finding the pair in an amorous entanglement, Hearst drew his diamond-studded revolver, inadvertently firing at Ince, who died a few days later. Considering the volatile history of Chaplin, Hearst, and their shared love interest, this is an exceptional association piece. Provenance: Tollett and Harman Autographs.
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