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Estimate: $ 200 - $ 300
FRANCIS RENAULT (1893-1955)
Signed and Inscribed photograph "For `Vitullo and Ulisse' / always your friend / Frances Renault / 1929." 305x253 mm; 12x10 inches. Glued to stiff board, mild wrinkling, finger prints, upper right corner creased with fold, and a 1/2-inch tear to upper right margin.
Renault's given name was Antonio Auriemma. He was born in Naples, Italy before his family resettled in Providence, Rhode Island, where he was raised. In the early days of his career, he worked in Vaudeville as Francis Renault and got his break when he replaced female impersonator Julian Eltinge in a touring version of his Broadway show. Unlike Eltinge, Renault would wear his female costumes in public where he was touring. While it created publicity for the show, he was arrested several times. In 1913 he performed in Atlanta and contested local ordinance banning cross-dressing, to the consternation of the local police--zagria.blogspot.com.
This item is listed in the Digital Transgender Archive, item hq37vn773, though inscription mistranscribed as "Always your girl."