ELISABETH PINAJEFF: EUROPEAN ACTRESS, ARTIST, AND PART OF THE “BALLETS ROSES SCANDAL”

This vintage real photo postcard features German actress Elisabeth Pinajeff (1900-1995). In the 1920’s and 1930’s she starred in French and German films. Her first sound film was in 1929. The actress was born in Russia. Her father was an architect and her mother was a countess. In the 1910’s Pinajeff studied drama in the Ukraine. When she was 19 years old she married an engineer and his career required the couple to move to Germany. In 1929, Pinajeff met Austrian photographer, Alex Binder. Binder will be a familiar name to those that follow the cabinet card gallery. Many of his beautiful postcard portraits of theater stars can be found in the gallery (you can see his photos by placing his name, “Binder”, in the search box).  Binder had the largest photo studio in Europe during the 1920’s. Pinajeff modeled for Binder and later, married him. The couple lived in Paris. There is some debate about the years that they were together.The IMDb reports that Pinajeff appeared in 35 films between 1922 and 1938. After appearing in a bit part in a 1938 film about Rasputin, she retired from acting and focused on her painting. In 1950, Pinajeff became a friend of Andre Le Troquer, a “very connected” lawyer and politician. The couple surrounded themselves with political, artistic, and intellectual leaders.   In 1959, she was involved in a scandal known as the “Ballets Roses Scandal”. She was one of more than twenty people enmeshed in the scandal. She was accused of organizing erotic ballets with underaged girls for an “elite” audience. Some prospective show biz mother’s had consented to their daughters participation in this ballet with hopes that it would help launch their performance career.  Although Pinajeff was not convicted. Miss Pinajeff had artistic talent. She painted a number of famous personalities including the British Queen. She successfully exhibited a number of her paintings. This postcard is somewhat risque in that the photograph shows Miss Pinajeff’s bare back. The actress was a very pretty woman and had an engaging smile. This postcard was published by Russ Verlag and is part of a series (no. 2060/1). The photographer was the aforementioned Alex Binder and the photo was taken in Berlin.

Advertisements

LONNIE’S STEAM LAUNDRY IN LUBBOCK, TEXAS

Football fans know that Lubbock, Texas is the home of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Lubbock is also the home of Lenny’s Steam Laundry. The enterprise must have done a brisk business judging by the fact that it required a fleet of at least three trucks to deliver customer’s clothing to their homes. The owners of the company had a great deal of confidence, which is reflected in their advertising slogan printed on their trucks. The company claims “North, South, East, or West; Our Service Pleases Best”. There is a gentleman standing by each vehicle. They are well dressed men. Preliminary research yielded no information about “Lenny’s Laundry”. The photograph measures 9″ x 7″ and was taken by the Daniel Studio in Lubbock. The studio was the major studio in Lubbock during the 1920’s and 1930’s. They produced many photo postcards of Lubbock and Texas Tech.                                                                                                        

Published in: on January 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

PORTRAIT OF FIVE CEMENT WORKERS WITH ARTISTIC TALENT

This vintage photograph features five cement workers posing with four statues. My hypothesis is that these men are the creators of the statues. Four of the men are wearing work shirts and the fifth man is dressed in a suit and wearing a pocket watch. The better dressed gentleman is likely the manager or boss of the four workmen. This image measures 5″ x 5″ is quite an unusual occupational photograph.

Published in: on January 19, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags:

BETTY BALFOUR: “BRITAINS QUEEN OF HAPPINESS” (3 VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARDS)

 

balfour

POSTCARD 1

betty balfour

POSTCARD 2

balfour4

POSTCARD 3

Have you ever heard of Betty Balfour? You would definitely know who she was if you lived in England during the silent film era because she is considered the most popular actress there during the 1920’s. She was known as the “British Mary Pickford” and “Britain’s Queen of Happiness”. Her fans knew her best for her “Squibs” series of films. Betty Balfour (1903-1977) was also known for her stage career. She made her stage debut in 1913 and worked in theater for several years before entering the film industry. She did not attempt to extend her career to Hollywood  but she did star in a number of German films. In Britain she starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Champagne” (1928). Her sound era debut was in “The Nipper” (1930), Her popularity began to drop in the 1930’s though she still was getting film roles. In all, she appeared in more than 35 films. Balfour was married to composer Jimmy Campbell but the marriage fell apart in 1941 after a ten year run. She attempted a theater comeback in 1952 but it failed. She died in Weybridge, Surrey, England at the age of seventy-four. This vintage real photo postcard was produced by Picturegoer as part of a series (no. 2a). The company was based in London. Picturegoer was a British fan magazine focussing on contemporary films and the actors and actresses who performed in them. Picturegoer also published postcards. In fact, they produced over 6500 different real photo postcards on 2000 actors and actresses.

The second real photo postcard see here is of unknown origin. The publisher is not identified nor is the photographer. Interestingly, just as in the first image, Miss Balfour is wearing pearls. She certainly was quite pretty.

The third real photo postcard features Miss Balfour in costume wearing a headpiece with very large feathers. Her v-neck dress is very beautiful. The portrait of Miss Balfour was taken by the Maull and Fox studio. The postcard was published by Cinimagazine and was part of a series (no. 84). Henry Maull (1829-1914) was a British photographer known for his portraits of famous individuals. He became a member of the Royal Photographic Society in 1870. During his career he had several partnerships. One of these partnerships (c1856-1865) was with George Henry Polyblank and the pair were very talented and produced great photographs. Between 1879 and 1885 Maul partnered with John Fox (1832-1907). The partnership with Fox was ended due to bankruptcy. However, the studio’s name was maintained after the bankruptcy by Fox’s son Herbert. Examination of the date of Maull and Fox’s partnership, it is clear that this photograph was produced by a photographer operating after the reign of Maull and Fox. Much of Maull’s work can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.

balfour 1

 POSTCARD ONE

betty balfour 2

POSTCARD TWO

balfour4 1

POSTCARD 3

BETTY BRONSON: BEAUTIFUL ACTRESS BEST KNOWN FOR PLAYING PETER PAN IN THE 1924 SILENT FILM

POSTCARD 1

bronson3 3

POSTCARD 2

bronson3 4

This vintage real photo postcard features American actress Betty Bronson (1906-1971).She began her career in silent films and later appeared in sound films and television. This postcard was published by Ross Verlag and is part of a series (1095/1). At the time when this postcard was released, Miss Bronson was working for Paramount Film. She appears to be quite young when she sat for this portrait. She moved to California as a teenager determined to start an film acting career. She landed a bit part at age 16 and a year later she was interviewed by the author of  Peter Pan (J M Barrie) and chosen to play the lead role in the film version which was released in 1924. Gaining this part was quite an accomplishment considering more seasoned actresses including Gloria Swanson and Mary Pickford sought the role. She became became lifelong friends with two members of the Peter Pan cast (Mary Brian and Esther Ralson). Miss Bronson had major roles in the silent films Ben Hur (1925) and a Kiss for Cinderella (1925). Betty Bronson made a successful transition into talkies. She co-starred with Al Jolson in the sound film, The Singing Fool (1928). In 1933 she took about a four year break from actingto marry a wealthy North Carolinian named Ludwig Lauerhass. While she was filming Peter Pan, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. developed a crush on her. The IMDb reports that Bronson had 41 film and television appearances during her career (1922-1971). Included in her television career were roles in Run For Your Life and My Three Sons. Overall, it is reported that Betty Bronson never lived up to her original promise. She was expected to be a major competitor to Mary Pickford but it is thought that her roles after Peter Pan were not effective vehicles to showcase her talent and to help her rise to superstardom. The YouTube clip below shows Miss Bronson in her role as Peter Pan.                                                                                                             The second postcard offers another portrait of Betty Bronson. The postcard was published by Ross Verlag and has the logo of Paramount Pictures. This postcard shows her in a movie role but the movie title is unidentified.

                 POSTCARD 1

bronson3 2 POSTCARD 2

STUDIOUS YOUNG MAN AND HIS PINCE-NEZ GLASSES IN TOPEKA, KANSAS

This cabinet card portrait is particularly interesting because the young man in the photograph is wearing an interesting pair of glasses. The style of glasses that he is wearing is called “Pince-nez”. These glasses do not have earpieces but instead are supported by pinching the wearers nose. If the young man’s glasses had earpieces, it would look very similar to the glasses worn today. The gentleman in this photo is well coiffed. His handlebar mustache is perfect. He looks very studious. This cabinet card was produced by the Snyder studio in Topeka, Kansas. Charles J Snyder (1855-1925) was born of German parents in Kentucky. He married Laura Hooven Snyder in 1877. He is listed in the 1880 US Census as a photographer as well as in the 1921 Topeka Directory. Take note below of the verso of this cabinet card. If the reverse of a cabinet card can be beautiful, this backing is beautiful. It is also an unusual cabinet card verso design. It looks like the back of a playing card.

Published in: on January 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

CUTE DOG SNIFFING THE CORK ON A BOTTLE OF WHISKEY

This vintage real photo postcard features a cute dog sniffing the cork on a bottle of whiskey. Below the photo is the caption “His Master’s Vice”. The dog on this comical postcard appears to be Jack Russell or a Chihuahua. Of course, the dog certainly may be a mixed breed. The postcard was postmarked in Seattle in the year 1946. The recipient of this postcard was Colleen Bolze, a sixteen year old girl in Chanute, Kansas.  Printed on the right bottom of the card is the name “C & D”. This may represent the publisher but initial research was unable to confirm that C & D was a postcard publishing company.

Published in: on January 15, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

BAWDY PORTRAIT OF A SCANTILY CLAD YOUNG WOMAN (VAUDEVILLE ACTRESS?)

This vintage bawdy photograph features a young woman scantily clothed and flashing a terrific smile. Her expression is very inviting. I wish I knew the story associated with this risque image. My hypothesis is that the woman is an actress and part of a vaudeville show. Her act was likely focused on bringing men into the theater. She may have been a dancer or a singer. Perhaps she was talented in both dance and song. Note her dress. It certainly didn’t require a lot of material to produce. It shows a lot of the performer’s body, but it is tastefully done. The dress covers “the essentials”. Vaudeville acts were very popular in the United States from the early 1880’s through the early 1930’s. Vaudeville was a genre of theater that was composed of a series of separate and unrelated acts that were presented together at one performance. It is difficult to determine when this photograph was taken. It certainly was produced sometime in the early period of vaudeville. This photograph is not a postcard. I do not believe that the image is a trimmed cabinet card, though it has a cabinet card type board.  An examination of the photos edges reveal that they are straight and smooth. The photograph measures about 5 1/4″ x 3 1/4″. There is a small pinhole through the top center of the image. Someone, decades ago, appreciated this wonderful photograph enough, to hang it on their wall.

Published in: on January 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (4)  
Tags:

RISQUE PORTRAIT OF FILM STAR INEZ VAN BREE (PHOTO BY ESTEEMED PHOTOGRAPHER: ERNST SCHNEIDER)

This vintage real photo postcard is one of the more risque Ross Verlag postcards in the Cabinet Card Gallery. The postcard is of German origin and is part of a series (no. 1581/1). It was published between 1927 and 1928. Preliminary research found little information about Inez Van Bree. A defunct University of Toronto website labels Miss Bree as a silent movie siren/star. The photographer of this portrait appears to be Ernst Schneider and the photograph was taken in Berlin, Germany. Research about Mr Schneider yielded a great deal of information. He was considered to be one of the most celebrated studio photographers in Berlin during three decades (1900’s, 1910’s, 1920’s. He photographed many celebrities from the world of theater, opera, circuses, and film. He was also one of the most prominent fashion photographers in Berlin. In addition, he was well known for his nude photography and he published books showcasing his work in this domain. Sometime around 1908 Schneider began working with postcard publishers “Rotophot” and “Neue Photographische Gesellschaft” (NPG). In 1919 he began working with Ross Verlag.

 

 

 

 

EXTRAORDINARY PORTRAIT OF A LITTLE GIRL IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (PHOTO BY FAMED PHOTOGRAPHER: J. B. MONACO)

This is one of those special type of photographs that collectors come across on an infrequent basis. The young girl in this portrait is pretty, beautifully dressed, and charming. She is wearing a lace trimmed coat over a lace trimmed dress and is wearing an adorable wide brimmed hat. The 5″ x 7″ image was photographed by the Monaco Studio at 205 Montgomery Avenue in San Francisco, California. J.B. Monaco (1856-1938) was a noted photographer in San Francisco. In fact, a collection of his photographs can be found at the San Francisco History Center at the San Francisco Public Library. In 1875 Monaco arrived in the United States as an immigrant from Switzerland. His name was originally Giovanni Battista. He joined his brother in Eureka, Nevada. Louis Monaco operated a photo studio there and J.B. joined him in the business, thus launching a career as a photographer that would span 62 years. In 1887 J. B. moved to San Francisco where he was soon joined by his brother who died in 1897. During J. B.’s career, he distinguished himself with his earthquake and fire photographs. These images have been described as  dramatic and journalistic. He documented much of early Nevada and Northern California history. His portraiture work of prominent San Francisco individuals and their families is considered to be exceptional. During his career, Monaco was described as the “Dean of North Beach photographers”. A photograph of Monaco’s photo studio, as well as a portrait of J. B. Monaco, can be seen below.

Monaco’s Studio  (photo by JB Monaco)

                                                                                                                                          J. B. Monaco

 

Published in: on January 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,