Renata Tebaldi – Signed Handkerchief from Otello

Collecting opera and classical music memorabilia not always focuses strictly on the usual autograph photos, letters, books, programs and playbills. Over the years, we have seen many unusual items that can become treasured collectibles by the music fan. They include signed ballet pointe shoes, conductor´s batons – signed and unsigned -, magazine ads, violins and other music instruments, pieces of the old Metropolitan Opera building (will say more about this in a future posting), and even a signed fan.

Renata Tebaldi signed handkerchief from Otello

Top: frame with Renata Tebaldi signed handkerchief used in Otello, with autographs photos by Tebaldi (left), Del Monaco (right) in Otello, and a cast page from a program (center top). Bottom: a larger view of the signed handkerchief.

Our collection is on display in our offices, and it includes this handkerchief signed by star soprano Renata Tebaldi (1922-2004) after a performance of Otello in 1964, the very same handkerchief she used on stage at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Otello was dear to Tebaldi since it was the opera of her debut at the Met in January 1955. We framed this item with a signed photo of her as Desdemona, and one of tenor Mario del Monaco (1915-1982) in the title role, plus an original cast page from a program for that debut night on January 31st, 1955 (frame available for sale, price after request).

 

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