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AUTOGRAPH: Zlatko Baloković (1895 – 1965).



A photo with an autograph of Zlatko Baloković, a famous Croatian violinist, visible figure among the Yugoslavian immigrants to the United States, and a personal friend of Nikola Tesla, who played Ave Maria and a Serbian song Tamo daleko, when New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia read Tesla’s eulogy on the radio. 

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An original advertisement photo, printed on a postcard template, was signed verso by a Croatian violinist Zlatko Baloković on November 4, 1946.

Zlatko Baloković, born in Zagreb, studied violin in Prague and soon became a member of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. He spent WWI in Trieste, and in 1924 left for New York City. In 1926, he married Joyce Borden, heiress to the Borden family fortune, and spent a large part of the 1920s and 1930s touring Europe, playing for nobility. During WWII he was actively involved in supporting Tito’s partisans from the United States. In 1946 he toured Yugoslavia, where he met Marshal Josip Broz Tito, Georgi Dimitrov of Bulgaria, and Enver Hoxha of Albania.

Baloković was actively involved in Yugoslav immigrant communities in the United States. He was a close friend of Nikola Tesla. When Tesla died in 1943 it was one of his last wishes to have a Serbian WWI folk song Tamo daleko (There Far Away) played at his funeral.

Zlatko Baloković played the song live, followed by Ave Maria, accompanied by a Slavic quire Slovan, over the WNYC radio, on the 10 January 1943, after New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia read a eulogy for Nikola Tesla written by Slovene-American author Louis Adamic.

The advertisement photo from 1918 was probably signed at his 1946, post WWII tour of Yugoslavia.

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