Baker, Josephine (1906 – 1975)

A group of seven autograph letters signed, mainly ‘Josephine Baker’, one unsigned (although with a small illustration in her hand), each to the versos of picture postcards from various places (Spain, Austria, Norway, Brazil, Argentina), circa 1920s, all to the manager of L’Auberge du Pere Louis restaurant in Paris, in French.

Baker writes a series of social letters to her correspondent, hoping that he is in good health, that she is thinking of him even though she is far away, sending her good wishes for Easter, Christmas and the New Year, remarking that Valencia is beautiful but she has not found a hostel as good as his, etc. On one postcard Baker has drawn a simple caricature of herself (‘moi’) seemingly crying a pool of tears as a chicken flies away from her. Five of the postcards are also signed by ‘Count’ Giuseppe Pepito Abatino, most with additional notes in his hand. An unusual group of correspondence dating from one of Baker’s earliest tours, having established herself as the most successful American entertainer working in France. Four of the cards are in generally fine condition, with some age-toning, one is age-toned with some edge damage, and two cards are more heavily toned with edge damage (one has a corner missing and a tear through the address).

‘Count’ Giuseppe Pepito Abatino (1898-1936) Italian manager of Josephine Baker, who also became her lover, and was responsible for transforming Baker’s stage and public persona, as well as her singing voice.