FIELDS, W.C. (1880-14946)
William Claude Dukenfield, better known as W.C. Fields – American actor, comedian, juggler, and writer. Often associated with another legendary comedic-actress Mae West.
SIG – Vintage signature on album leaf, with a few additional words in his handwriting. Reads: Thank you very kindly. Sincerely, W.C. Fields. Top of album leaf exhibits three punch holes where leaf was originally bound in a book. Professionally double-matted with a vintage b/w litho print photo-postcard and plate of US mint commemorative stamps. Encased in museum conservation glass and dark wood and gilt frame. Fields is uncommon, particularly several words in his handwriting. Signed checks can bring more than $1,000.
Field’s trademarks were his raspy drawl and grandiloquent vocabulary. His film and radio persona was generally identified with Fields himself. Early in his career, Fields became highly protective of his intellectual properties that formed his acts and defined his on-screen persona. In vaudeville, burlesque, and in the rapidly expanding motion picture industry, many of his fellow performers and comedy writers often copied or “borrowed” sketches or portions of routines developed and presented by others. As his popularity with audiences continued to rise, following his initial work on screen, other entertainers started to adopt and integrate parts of his successful acts into their own performances. In 1938, Fields began to combat this by registering his sketches and other comedy material with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress.