This family portrait was taken at an unidentified studio. The family members are very well dressed and appear to be well-to-do. The mother in this photograph is very pretty. She is also quite bejeweled. Note her two necklaces (one with a locket), her collar pin, her watch (pinned to her dress), and her four rings. The little girl in this image is adorable. Be sure to notice her hair treatment. Are those wide ribbons in her hair? The child is wearing an interesting dress that resembles a Queen’s robe.  She is also wearing two bracelets, a necklace with a locket, and at least two rings. Perhaps the gentleman in this photograph is a jeweler. Lets hope so, for the sake of his finances.

Published in: on December 13, 2017 at 8:26 pm  Comments (3)  




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This vintage real photo postcard features Edwardian theater actress Miss Dorothy Chard. Preliminary research yielded little information about her life and her career. More intensive research is required to uncover biographical information. The Internet Broadway Data Base (IBDB) notes that Miss Chard appeared in eleven Broadway shows from 1926 through 1930. She played in musicals but she primarily appeared in comedies. Among her credits are “Merry-Go-Round” (1927) and “Cinderelative” (1930). The dearth of information about Miss Chard reveals that she certainly was not a leading actress of her time but she certainly was beautiful and well known enough to merit the publishing of a photo postcard by the Rotary Postcard company. This postcard was part of the Rotary Photographic series (no. 4353 A). The photograph of Dorothy Chard appearing on this postcard was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield Studio.The pair were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio from the 1900’s through the 1920’s. The postcard is postmarked 1909 from Edinburg, Scotland. Edinburg is Scotland’s capital city. The content of the message on this postcard mentions “fresh cards” referring to newly released photo postcards. Collecting such cards was a popular hobby during this era. I guess this hobby was a precursor to collecting pokemon. I prefer collecting photo portraits. Call me “old school”.                                                             The second vintage postcard features a portrait of Dorothy Chard from the same series as the top postcard. This Rotary postcard (no. 4353 K) presents a more complete view of the actress. Miss Chard was dressed in different clothing and accessories for the two portraits. She looks very friendly in card 1 but has an arrogant expression in card 2. The message on the reverse of this postcard states “Dearest Lil, Have you been feeling well today. I have. M. has not spoken to me yet. Wish I was going to see you tonight. –?– on saturday night. Have you had your chocolates? Hope you will like the P-C (postcard). I think it is very good. With fondest love. I remain yours forever.  (JM?)  My- Word -” It is interesting that the writers of postcard 1 and 2 both mention the photo postcard that they are sending. It would be interesting to know what “My-Word-” means. Does it mean “I will remain yours forever, you have my word”. Hopefully, a Cabinet Card Gallery visitor will be able to offer an explanation,



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This unusual cabinet card portrait features a pretty young woman and her pipe smoking dog. The young lady is flashing a terrific smile which is highly unusual during the cabinet card era. It is very understandable that she is smiling as she poses for this humorous photograph. It is my guess that the woman is a teenager. She is wearing a very busy dress and a wide-brimmed straw hat. Her canine friend is wearing a wide collar and seems to be begging for the girl’s attention. One wonders if this is a photograph of a professional dog trainer who performs in carnivals, or if this image is a reflection of a creative subject or photographer. The identity of the subject and the photographer are unknown. The dog appears to be a Boston Terrier.

Published in: on December 10, 2017 at 12:32 pm  Comments (2)  
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This vintage real photo postcard presents us with a glimpse of history in southeast Asia during colonial times. The postcard features a group of soldiers; three are Vietnmese and one is French. The caption under the photograph describes the group of soldiers as a  “Groupe de Tirailleurs Tonkinois”. The Tirailleurs were soldiers comprising several regiments of local ethnic indochinese infantry organized by the French colonial authorities.The Tirailleurs were originally established in Vietnam in 1880. The regiment members in this photograph came from the noted “Tonkinese Rifles”. Initially these regiments were known to have problems with a high rate of desertion. Eventually, with French marine officers, the Vietnamese force became effective. They were positioned to occupy France’s indochinese possessions, These troops also served in Indochina, China (Boxer Rebellion), Russia (1918-1919), Syria (1920-1921), and Morroco (1925-1926). They also participated in World War I. In 1945, some regiments rebelled against the occupation of Vietnam by Japan. Despite a fierce resistance, the Tirailleurs were nearly annihilated. The illustration below shows a soldier from a regiment (Annamite Tirailleur) that fought alongside the “Tonkinese Rifles”. This postcard was published by R. Moreau (Hanoi) and is part of a series (no. 1138). The postcard was postmarked at Ninh Binh in 1905 and has a French stamp. Ninh Bình is a province in North Vietnam’s Red River Delta.


This cabinet card features an attractive bride wearing a white dress and a floral brooch. Her dress has a pretty beaded collar. She is flashing a half smile as she poses for her wedding portrait. The woman and the photographer are unidentified.

Published in: on December 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This real photo postcard portrait features a pretty long haired young girl wearing a fancy colorful hat. The hat is trimmed with pink ribbon. The postcard is an Oranotypie. An Oranotypie is a trade name for a type of glossy real photo postcard published by NPG at the beginning of the 20th century. NPG was a German publisher located in Berlin and Stuttgart, Germany. The postcard was written in 1908 and has a postmark from Villar-les-Dombes, France.


This cabinet card portrait features a young woman holding a chair in a tilted position. One can assume that she was instructed to do so by the photographer, George C. Urlin (1854-1942). The “tilted chair technique” greatly improves the image compared to those photographs where the subject stands next to a chair in it’s regular position. I think the technique makes the image appear less flat. Urlin’s studio was located in Columbus, Ohio and it was named “The Mammoth Art Gallery”. The studio was founded in 1873 and he was active in Columbus until 1887. At that time he moved to Cleveland for a couple of years and returned to his photography career in Columbus in 1889. At times Urlin worked in partnerships in Columbus. During his career, Urlin received many medal for his work, Some of these medals can be seen on this photographs back stamp. The latest medal shown is from 1885. There are several photographs by Urlin that are in the Cabinet Card Gallery collection. To see additonal images, click on the category “Photographer: Urlin”.

Published in: on December 6, 2017 at 8:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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These vintage real photo postcards feature a beautiful actress named Alice Crawford (1882-1931). Miss Crawford was born in Bendigo, Australia. Her sister, Ruby Crawford was also an actress. Miss Crawford came to England with actor Wilson Barret in 1902 after appearing with him in Australia. Her London debut was in 1902 in in the play “The Christian”.  She was in the revival of the play in 1907. Other stage credits include “Antony and Cleopatra (1906), Matt of Merrymount (1908), and “The Passing of the Third Floor, Back” (1908). The New York Times (1909) announced her arrival in New York to perform in “These Are My People”. She is credited with film roles in “False Ambition” (1918) and Glorious Adventure (1922). There are fifteen portraits of Alice Crawford in the National Portrait Gallery, eight of which are by the photographer of the top photo postcard (Alexander Bassano}. Bassano  (1829 –1913) was a leading royal and high society photographer in Victorian London. Crawford was married to George Valentine Williams. He was wounded twice in WW I and was awarded the Military Cross. He later worked as a journalist, mostly in trouble spots. During WW2 he conducted “confidential work” for the British Government. He is best known as an author of Detective Fiction. He died in 1946. This postcard captures Miss Crawford in costume for her role as “Diantha Frothingham” in “Matt of Merrymount” (1908). Alice Crawford certainly qualifies as a “stage beauty” and she has an amazingly engaging smile. Bassano photographed the actress for Rotary Photo’s, Rotary Photographic Series (no.1852 R).                                      

The second photo postcard features Miss Crawford looking quite beautiful. Her hair is long and flowing and she has a flower hair band. Her eyes are beautiful and she appears to be holding back a smile. Like the first postcard, this card is also published by Rotary Photo and was part of a series (no. 1852 K). In fact both postcards seen here are part of the same series.  The postcard’s photograph was taken by the Dover Street Studio.  The studio was active between circa 1906 and circa 1912. The gallery specialized in taking theatrical portraits and was located in London, England. They were the successors to the Biograph Studios as well Adart (a studio that took advertising photos). Examination of the reverse of this postcard (see second postcard below) reveals that it was postmarked in 1907. The message on the back of the postcard is quite interesting because it contains comments about the photo on the postcard. The writer reports that she was charmed by a postcard from the addressee and she asks her how she likes “this one”. The writer also states that she was planning to go see “The Thief” at the St. James Theater. Billboard (1907) contains a review of the musical and describes it as an English version of Henry Bernstein’s “Le Voleur”.  The play was produced by Mr George Alexander and it’s cast included Mr. Alexander, Irene Vanbrugh, and Lillian Braithwaite. 

The third photo postcard portrait of Miss Crawford was produced by Rotary Photo and photographed by Dover Studios. The postcard was part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no.1852 P) and was printed in England. This photograph captures Alice Crawford appearing quite dismayed.

The fourth real photo postcard in this collection features a close-up portrait of Miss Crawford. This image confirms that Alice Crawford was certainly a stage beauty. The photograph is very similar to the second postcard in this group and the two images were likely taken during the same photo session at the Dover Street Studio. This postcard was published by Raphael Tuck and Sons and is part of the “Celebrities of the Stage” series (no. T 1148). Raphael Tuck and his wife started their photography business in 1866 in London. Their store sold pictures, greeting cards, and in time, postcards. Their success came from the sale of postcards during the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. In the early 1900’s the firm conducted postcard competitions for collectors of Tuck postcards. These competitions offered cash prizes and they were very popular. The winner of one of these competitions had a collection consisting of over twenty-five thousand cards. Three of Tuck’s four sons participated in the business. The company was devastated by German bombing during World War II. In 1959 the company merged with two other printing companies. This postcard was written and postmarked in 1908. It was postmarked at Bradninch, England. The message on the card is a “Happy Birthday” wish.

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Who is this pretty and well dressed young woman? Is she an actress or fashion model? I fear that her name may be lost to history. This real photo postcard presents a mystery. Maybe a visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery will be able to identify her.A stamp on the reverse of the postcard indicates that the photographer is G. Leturgez (?) who operated a studio in Grenay, France. Leturgez appears to be a master of lighting. The photo is dated 1930.

Published in: on December 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This vintage photograph features two men. What is the story behind this photo? The men are fairly well dressed, but not in a way that they appear to be going to a formal social event. My guess is that this is an occupational photograph. One man is holding a pencil and a sheet of paper. Are these men reporters? Are they some sort of order takers? What’s your guess? Note that the gentleman are posed in a manner that each has one foot on a stool. The stool is a somewhat unusual prop for this era photograph. The identities of the subjects and the photographer are unknown.

Published in: on December 2, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)