ENGLISH THEATRE ACTRESS PAMELA GAYTHORNE AND HER NOT SO SUBTLE HAT

This vintage real photo postcard features English stage actress Pamela Gaythorne. She is quite attractive and wearing much jewelry and lace. Note her not so subtle hat. It looks as if a seagull is resting on her head.  Miss Gaythorne is captured in this image as she appeared in “The Fascinating Mr. Vanderveldt. She appeared in this theatre production with Violet Vanbrugh and Arthur Bourchier. The IBDB reveals that Miss Gaythorne appeared in, and often starred in, 12 Broadway productions. Her Broadway career spanned from “Keeping Up Appearances” (1910) through “This Fine-Pretty World” (1923). The New York Times (2/14/1911) reviewed a play named “Nobody’s Daughter”. Gaythorne appeared in this play and in writing about her, the reviewer wrote that he “heartily commends” her performance. The article adds that she played her character with “delightful spontaneity, charm, variety, and suggested youth and spirit, while touching the more sentimental passages with manifest sincerity”. The photographers of this image was Foulsham and Banfield, a prolific celebrity postcard portrait studio. The postcard was produced by Rotary Photo and is part of a series (no. 4107 A). The message on this card is from Bob to Miss Marion Lipman and states “I will come in and see you when I go to the city”. Also written in the message section is what appears to be “The Empire Confectionary”. Perhaps a Cabinet Card Gallery visitor can throw some illumination on that term and also ascertain what nation the stamp of this postcard represents. The postcard is postmarked 1906.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oh, I got lost in mid-comment. The Audobon Society (spl?) during the latter part of the 19th century, when this millinery bird/feather style was quite celebrated, and quite lucrative, threatened to boycott the feather industry. They were denounced as extremists and sentimentalists because they made such a noise about the fuss about the destruction of unaccountable numbers of “mere birds” (many quite rare, and now, tragically, extinct). – This hat is not unusual. Check out this wonderful site;
    http://www.victoriana.com/victorian-feather-hats/

    Per “Confectionery”, that was an establishment where sweets were made and sold. They were usually specialized confections, as opposed to garden variety taffy-pull and licorice stick type sweets.

    No insult to the bird, but the lovely lady does indeed possess a “dove-like” presence.

  2. That is a fantastic hat, and literally one that is “perched” atop the lady’s head. Aren’t the hairstyles of this era marvelous? One would certainly need the “big hair” to support millinery of like proportions!

  3. It’s a British halfpenny stamp, showing King Edward VII. A clearer image will be found at the Edinburgh Photo website, which contains thousands of Victorian and Edwardian era photos and postcards, as well as period maps and historical articles—well worth a visit,

    http://www.edinphoto.org.uk/0_PC_0/0_post_card_history_-_stamps_4_edward_vii_and_george_v.htm

    Further to Ms. Jarvis’s comment above, the wholesale slaughter of birds for millinery feathers and other purposes led directly to the formation of America’s first Audubon society and first endangered species legislation in the 1890s, thanks to the efforts of Harriet Hemenway, a “proper Bostonian” who inspired other Boston society women to boycott the trade.

    [ see “How Two Women Ended the Deadly Feather Trade” at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-two-women-ended-the-deadly-feather-trade-23187277/ ]


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