c1935 Hollywood Actor Franchot Tone Hand Signed Photo


A great original ink pen hand signed large portrait photo of the Hollywood Star Actor Franchot Tone, best known for his role as Midshipman Roger Byam in ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ (1935), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, along with co-stars Clark Gable and Charles Laughton.

The black and white photo shows him partially side on, looking pensive. He has written on the lower left corner: ‘To the Princess Sushila of Kapurthala - with my best wishes – Franchot Tone’.
Stanislaus Pascal Franchot Tone (1905 - 1968) was an American stage, film and television actor. Tone was a leading man in the 1930s and early ‘40s, and at the height of his career was known for his gentlemanly, sophisticate roles, with supporting roles by the ‘50s. His acting crossed many genres including pre-Code romantic leads to Noir layered roles and many WWI films. He was famously married to Joan Crawford.

Maharajkumari Sushila Devi was one of 3 sisters, known as the Princesses of Kapurthala. She and her sisters Maharajkumari Indira Devi (Kaur), Maharajkumari Ourmilla Devi, were the daughters of Maharaja Paramjit Singh and Maharani Brinda of Kapurthala. All 3 were fans of Hollywood cinema. Sushila would write to actors asking for signed photos as well as offering advice about future co-stars. He sister Indira left India for Britain in 1935 at the age of twenty-three. Only her sisters knew of her intentions. In England she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London with a view to becoming a movie star. She did not fulfil her ambition, but joined the BBC in 1942 and became known as the ‘Radio Princess’. She hosted a half-hour radio programme in Hindustani for Indian forces stationed in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. She broadcast the programme 'The Debate continues', a weekly report to India on the proceedings in the House of Commons, where she was the only woman in the Press Gallery. She lived and died in London.

Maharajkumari Sushila Devi, married Raja Giriraj Saran Singh of Bharatpur. We are uncertain as to how her photo ended up in an auction in Plymouth, but may have been a possession of her sister Indira. The photo has been framed and glazed. Condition is very good, apart from a light crease across the middle.

Size: 25 x 32.5 x 1.5 cm (9 ¾ x 12 ¾ x 5/8 ins)
Weight: 620g