Errol Flynn Signed Photo “Jailbird” Inscription 1948

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We sold this item at auction for $744
 in December 2022.

Vintage circa 1948 oversize, double weight portrait of Errol Flynn, signed and inscribed to Warner Brothers’ publicity man, Robert Graham Wahn.

Wahn classed Flynn as one of his favorite movie stars to work with, and liked him so much that he went to jail with him in 1948 for an incident in New York.

Errol Flynn’s 1948 Arrest in New York

Flynn’s unique inscription on this photo references the police incident which ended up in the press when the two men were arrested after an argument with NYC patrolmen who halted a taxi in which they were passengers.

In the police station, Flynn allegedly kicked a policeman and was booked on an assault charge; Wahn was charged with disorderly conduct. The two were bailed out by the owner of New York’s El Morocco nightclub.

“Hello Graham! From one jailbird to another. Errol.”

Hollywood memorabilia collectors are sometimes on the fence about inscriptions on vintage photos. While some like generic inscriptions like, “Best Wishes (name)”, others really enjoy the provenance behind a detailed inscription like this one. It shows history, a backstory and authenticity of the autograph.

Errol Flynn’s Statutory Rape Charge

This wasn’t Errol Flynn’s only jail stint – he was famously put on trial in 1943 with a charge of statutory rape, a case which made major headlines in Hollywood and around the world. The trial made the phrase “In Like Flynn” a cheeky household expression.

This autographed piece was consigned directly by the family of former Warner Brothers publicity man Robert Graham Wahn. Mr. Wahn worked public relations and acted as chaperone and sometime bodyguard to various stars in the 1940s and 1950s during their visits to New York City. He archived many signed photographs and publicity stills through his tenure with Warner Brothers.

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