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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MARTE HARRELL: PRETTY AUSTRIAN ACTRESS OF THEATER, FILM, AND TELEVISION

Marte Harell (1907-1996) was an Austrian film actress. She was married to Karl Hartl (1899-1978), an Austrian film director. Harell’s filmography includes “Women Are No Angels” (1943), “After The Storm” (1948), and “The Congress Dances” (1955). She was active in film and television between 1939 and 1981. Early and late in her career she also did theater. She made her film debut at age 32. She was in a number of films by Wien-Film. Hartl was the production manager of the company. This photo postcard was made for Wien-Film. The postcard is part of a series (no. A 3645/1). It is likely that this is a photograph of Miss Harell in costume for one of her film roles

Published in: on April 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF TWO WELL DRESSED AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

This vintage real photo postcard features two well dressed African American men posing for their portrait at an unknown photography studio. The men look quite fashionable. The shorter man is wearing a single breasted jacket and fedora while the taller gentleman is wearing a bowler hat and double breasted suit.The postcard has an “AZO” stamp box indicating it was produced sometime between 1904 and 1918.

Published in: on April 4, 2017 at 10:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN WEARING STARS IN NEW YORK CITY

 

This vintage photograph features a woman who seems intent on making a fashion statement. Unfortunately, it is difficult to interpret the message she is trying to deliver. Certainly she is dressed in a very feminine manner. Some may argue that her attire is very juvenile. The bows on her shoes and her large and frilly bonnet might be expected to be seen on a little girl rather than someone this woman’s age. The woman in this photograph displays an air of confidence and a tight smile. She has a long braid hanging down to her waist decorated by a hair bow. She is holding a fan and wearing a beaded necklace and a bracelet. Perhaps the most striking aspect of this photograph is the pattern on the woman’s dress. The dress has a pattern that consists of five-pointed stars. These stars may have some meaning. Historically five pointed stars have been associated with certain religious, cultural, and fraternal groups. This vintage photograph was taken by a studio located on Strand Avenue in New York City.

Published in: on April 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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