PORTRAIT OF AN ATTRACTIVE FAMILY WEARING WINTER CLOTHING

This vintage real photo postcard captures a mother and her two young children posing for their portrait at an unidentified photo studio. The whole family appears quite apprehensive about having their photograph taken. The trio are dressed for winter. All three are wearing winter coats and hats. The older child is wearing gloves and the youngest child is wearing a muff. This image features a  truly attractive family.

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Published in: on April 30, 2017 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

THREE BRITISH SOLDIERS IN CAWNPORE, INDIA (SITE OF HORRIFIC MASSACRES IN THE INDIAN REBELLION)

This cabinet card portrait captures three British soldier posing for their portrait at a photo gallery in Cawnpore, India. The three men are in uniform and the standing soldier is wearing a medal on his chest. The two seated soldiers are holding batons. Note the sun helmets on the floor in front of the trio of soldiers. The photograph was taken at “The Portraiture Coy” located in Cawnpore (now Kanpur), a historic city in the relationship between India and Britain. An important battle in the Indian Rebellion (First War of Independence) of 1857 was the Siege of Cawnpore. Cawnpore was the site of a major garrison of the East India Company forces. There were 900 British (including civilians) in Cawnpore as well as a large number of Sepoy troops (Indian infantry). Tensions mounted between the British and the Sepoy troopers until the Sepoys joined the war against the East India Company. The British came under siege for three weeks until the British surrendered in return for safe passage to safety. The evacuation was fraught with problems and in the end, the Sepoys fired upon the departing British. The result was a massacre which included the killing of 120 captured British women and children. East India Company forces from Allahabad marched to Cawnpore and recaptured the city. Company troops retaliated for the massacre by massacring captured local civilians and Sepoys. The soldiers in this photograph arrived in India more than twenty years after the massacres occurred in Cawnpore. However, they were likely very aware of the historic events that happened in Cawnpore.

Published in: on April 27, 2017 at 6:25 pm  Comments (1)  
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PORTRAIT OF LILY ELSIE: BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED STAGE ACTRESS (VINTAGE RPPC)

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This vintage real photo postcard features celebrated stage actress Miss Lily Elsie (1886-1962). At the time of her portrait sitting for this image, Miss Elsie was also known as “Mrs. Ian Bullugh”. More about that later. Lily Elsie was a very popular English actress and singer. She was most known for her starring role in the London production of “The Merry Widow (1907)”. The show ran for 778 performances. A critic for The Pelican (1907) wrote that “the youthfulness, the dainty charm and grace, the prettiness and the exquisite dancing with which Miss Elsie invests the part…. I share the opinion of most of the first-nighters, who considered it could not have been in better hands, and could not have been better handled…. The night was a genuine triumph for Miss Elsie, and she well deserved all the calls she received”. She began as a child actress and before her big break had appeared in a number of Edwardian musical comedies. She was charming and beautiful and became one of the most photographed actresses of her time. Lily Elsie’s dad was a theater worker and her aunt was well known actress Ada Reeve. Shortly after the turn of the century she joined George Edwardes’ company at the Daly Theater. Some of her early appearances included “A Chinese Honeymoon”, “Lady Madcap”, “The Little Michus (1905)”. In the years between 1900 and 1906 she appeared in 14 shows. After the “Merry Widow” she appeared in  26 more shows including “The Dollar Princess” (1909) and “A Waltz Dream” (1911). She clearly was an actress who was in demand. Men paid her much attention but apparently she did not enjoy the attention. Lucile, her costume designer for “The Merry Widow” stated that Elsie was “absolutely indifferent to men and had once said that she disliked “the male character”. She added that men would only behave well if a woman “treated them coldly”. Now, some words about her marriage. In 1911 she he left the cast of a play in which she was performing to marry Major John Ian Bullough (1885–1936). Major Bullough was the son of a wealthy textile manufacturer. He was formerly married to actress Maude Darrell who only survived one year after their 1909 marriage. The marriage between Elsie and Bullough was reported to be very unhappy. Elsie’s health began to deteriorate and her husband pressured her to quit the stage and she was ready to do so. She returned to the stage during the war years (World War I) and was active in fund raising for the war effort. She next took a ten year break from the stage only to return once again. Her final performance took place in the Daly Theater in the play “The Truth Game” (1929). In addition to her theater career, Elsie made recordings, and appeared in two films, including D. W. Griffith’s “The Great Love” (1918). Also appearing in that film was Lillian Gish. In 1930 Elsie’s marriage ended in divorce. Her health began to deteriorate more and she developed hypochondriasis causing her to spend much time in nursing homes and sanitariums. Due to her psychological problems she had brain surgery. Her final years were spent at St. Andrews hospital in London. This postcard is part of a series (Arcadian no. A 26). The photographer of this image of this beautiful actress is the well known celebrity photographer, Rita Martin. She was considered one of the best British photographers of her time. She opened her studio in 1906. Martin’s sister, Lallie Charles was an esteemed society photographer. Many of Rita’s photographs can be found in the National Portrait Gallery. To view more photographs by Rita Martin in the cabinet card gallery, click on the category “Photographer: Martin”.

The second postcard of Miss Elsie provides a terrific close-up photograph of the beautiful Miss Elsie. She is wearing a dark jacket, a frilly high collared blouse and a ribbon bow tie. Her accessories include a long necklace, a pin low on her blouse, and a corsage. The postcard is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 4159 J) published by Rotary Photo. The photograph was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield Studio. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio in the 1900’s through the 1920’s.

The third postcard features Lily Elsie clutching a bouquet of flowers and glancing sideways at the photographer. She looks absolutely beautiful. She is wearing a fancy beaded dress and a bracelet. She stands in front of a window. This photograph, like the second postcard’s photo, was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield studio. The portrait postcard was published by Rotary Photo and is part of a series (11840 F). The postcard was printed in Britain.

                                              

                                                       Wedding Photo (1911)

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STUDIO PHOTOGRAPH OF A VERY HAPPY BABY (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

This image is special because it features a baby with a wonderful smile and happy demeanor. It is a rare occurrence to find a portrait of a baby with such a great smile. The photograph was taken at a studio and was used to produce this vintage real photo postcard. The baby is dressed in white and looks so adorable wearing a white sweater and little booties. The baby is sitting on a chair that is covered by a lace light blanket. I am unsure how the baby is safely held in the chair. There is no evidence of a hidden mother’s hands or a device to hold the baby safely in place. A studio backdrop can be seen in the background. The AZO stamp box on the reverse of the image indicates that the postcard was produced sometime between 1924 and 1949

Published in: on April 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY LITTLE GIRL WEARING A CONFIRMATION GOWN IN DIJON, FRANCE

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This cartes de visite portrait features a pretty young girl wearing her confirmation gown and holding a cross on a chain and bible. She is wearing white gloves and a necklace with a pendant. It appears that she has a small purse hanging from the front of her dress. This cdv photograph was taken by L. Bertrand at his studio in Dijon, France. Dijon is the capital city of the Burgundy region in eastern France. This area is one of the leading wine producing regions in France.

Published in: on April 15, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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MISS VIOLET ESSEX: A FORGOTTEN OPERA STAR

 The pretty subject of this vintage real photo postcard is actress and opera singer, Violet Essex (1893-1941). The English born Miss Essex appears in a web site entitled “Forgotten Opera Singers” which is written by Ashot Arakelyan. Essex sang during World War I when there was a demand for “lighter music”. Essex, a soprano, fulfilled that need. She recorded under her own name as well as under “Vera Desmond”. Miss Essex was known for her performances in Gilbert and Sullivan’s operas. She starred in the comic opera “Chu Chin Chow” during its five and a half year run in London. She was married to Charles Tucker, an English theatrical producer. She died just six months after moving with her family to Beverly Hills, California. This postcard portrait shows Miss Essex as Emmeline in the Edwardian musical comedy “The Sunshine Girl”. The show was first produced by George Edwardes at London’s Gaiety Theatre. The musical opened in 1912 and ran for 336 performances. The show introduced the tango to British audiences. Violet  Essex was in the original cast. The play also had a Broadway run in 1913 at the Knickerbocker Theatre. The photographer who took this photograph of Miss Essex is Alexander Bassano (1829-1913). He was a leading royal and high society London photographer and more of his images can be seen by clicking on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Photographer: Bassano”. This postcard was produced around 1912 and is part of a series (41243 8). To hear a recorded performance (Dear Heart) by Violet Essex, click on the link below. 

 

 

 

Published in: on April 14, 2017 at 6:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY WOMAN IN THE BLACK (MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE)

This cabinet card portrait features a bust portrait of an attractive woman taken at the Langley studio in Manchester, New Hampshire. The photographer used a dark background effectively to produce a beautiful image. The subject is wearing a pretty dress and a collar pin. The photographer of this image is Josiah T. Langley (1856-1916). Langley was married to Kate Langley (1869-?) in 1891 and the couple had two female children. The girls are listed in the 1910 census as being twelve years old. The siblings, Florence and Grace, were probably twins. A published interview with his daughter reveals that Langley was a pioneer in photographing snowflakes. Langley’s daughter also asserts that her father died due to his long term exposure to photographic chemicals. To view other images by Langley, click on the category “Photographer: Langley”.

Published in: on April 13, 2017 at 12:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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TWO PORTRAITS OF BEAUTIFUL BRITISH ACTRESS/SINGER: WINIFRED BARNES (PHOTOS BY RITA MARTIN)

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These vintage real photo postcards feature British actress Winifred Barnes. She is absolutely beautiful and photographer, Rita Martin did a fine job of capturing both her beauty and personality in these photographs. It is not surprising that Rita Martin produced such fine photo postcards. Miss Martin was well known for her expertise in taking portraits of theater stars and other celebrities. Other images by Rita Martin can be seen by clicking on the Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Photographer: Rita Martin”. Barnes made her theatrical debut in a minor role in “Our Miss Gibbs” at the Gaiety Theater in 1909. Great Britain’s National Portrait Gallery has ten portraits of Winifred Barnes including one by Rita Martin. Her obituary appears in the New York Times (1935). The article describes her as a former chorus girl who became a star. She was one of George Edwardes’s leading actresses. Edwardes (1855-1915) was an English theatre manager and producer who received much credit for his contribution to British musical theatre. Many of Barnes’s major roles occurred during the first World War. She scored a huge success in the production of “Betty” (1915) at Daly’s Theatre. After her 1924 marriage to barrister, Roy Faulkner, she became a successful poultry farmer. She also became widely known for her cooking expertise. Both of these photo postcards were produced by Rotary Photo of London. The two postcards are part of a series (A. 1123-1) and (11867 A).

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THE MOST STYLISH YOUNG MAN IN BATAVIA (INDONESIA)

 

This vintage photograph was found in a Long Island, New York, antique store. The image traveled a long way to get to New York and there is probably a very interesting story attached to this photograph. The young man in the photo is impeccably dressed. He looks very cool in his light colored suit, vest, high collared shirt, and bow tie. His hat is strategically tilted and he is posing with an open jacket and with his hand in his pants pocket. He looks like he is ready to model for Gentlemen’s Quarterly. This good looking young man appears to be in his late teen years or his early twenties. The web site for the Afrika Tropen Museum (the actual museum is located in Amsterdam, Netherlands) provides helpful information in ascertaining the origin of this photograph. If one looks under the image on this photograph one finds the words “NV Charls & Van Es & Co”. Also printed below the image are the words  “Ned. Indie”. The museum site reveals that Charls & Van Es & Co. was a photography studio located on Rijswijk Street in Batavia (Jakarta). The studio was founded in 1884 by Messrs F. Charls and JC van Es. and was in business for more than fifty years. Batavia was the de facto capital of the Dutch East Indies. Today Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia which gained it’s independence in 1945. “Ned Indie” or Netherlands Indies is a term that was used to describe the many islands that eventually combined to become Indonesia. I wish I knew the story behind this intriguing image. 

Published in: on April 9, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF AN ADORABLE STUDIOUS YOUNG GIRL IN COLUMBUS, OHIO

This wonderful cabinet card portrait captures an adorable young girl sitting at a table with an open book in front of her. She is looking toward the camera and displaying a serious gaze. She is wearing a dress that has lace at the end of her sleeves and around her collar. This photograph was taken at the Urlin and Pfeifer studio which was located in Columbus, Ohio. The cabinet card gallery has photographs by each of these photographers that were taken when they were working independently. John A. Pfeifer (1859-1932) was active in the Columbus area from 1882 to at least 1913. For much of that time, he was partners with George C. Urlin (1854-1942). Their firm was the class photographer of Oberlin College in 1888. Urlin was active in Columbus between 1873 and 1887. The reverse of this cabinet card offers an interesting back stamp. Note the etching of the Urlin & Pfeifer storefront. Behind the gallery’s windows there is a display of  framed photographs. Also on the reverse of the photograph is advertising boasting that the studio had won 47 “Medals and Highest Awards”. One of these medals was issued in 1885 which is about the time that this cabinet card was produced.

Published in: on April 8, 2017 at 1:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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