PORTRAIT OF A BASKETBALL PLAYER (ST. MARY’S, 1925)

This wonderful photographic portrait features a basketball player in his game day uniform. Note his high top sneakers and long athletic socks. His uniform reveals that he played for St. Mary’s. There were many schools called St. Mary’s so it is unclear where the school was located or whether it was a high school or a college. Writing on the basketball discloses that this photograph was taken in 1925. There is a name inscribed on the reverse of the photograph but it is hard to decipher. The photo measures about 5 5/8 x 3 3/4 and is on paper that has the consistency of postcard paper.

Published in: on June 9, 2017 at 1:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF TWO ADORABLE SIBLINGS IN OTTUMWA, IOWA

Two adorable siblings pose for their portrait at the Goldsberry and Gillet studio in Ottumwa, Iowa. The oldest sibling has incredibly engaging eyes. The reverse of this photograph has an inscription that reveals the identities of the two girls in this photograph. The subjects are Lillian Westling (age 4 1/2) and Lena Westling (age 2 1/2). The children’s parents were Swedish born. Lillian was born in 1888, just a year after her parents married. Their father was John Albert Westling and their mother went by a few different names including Minnie Hurd (Wilhelmina) and Miriam C. Westling. By the time of the 1900 US census Lillian had three younger siblings, including Lena. In 1900, the Westlings had moved to Fairbury, Nebraska and John was working as a laundry man. One of the photographers of this image, Benjamin E. Goldsberry (1853-1922) was born in Ottumwa. The 1880 US census finds him living in Bedford, Iowa, married to Anna E. (Lida) and working as a “Degarian Artist”. While working in Bedford he took a portrait of “Sitting Bull”. In 1895 he and his family moved back to Ottumwa where he worked as a photographer. The 1910 US census reports that he was living in Omaha, Nebraska and pursuing his career as a photographer. Goldsberry’s partner for this photograph was Bert Gillett (1857-?). He is listed in both the 1900 and 1920 census as a photographer. In the 1900 census he is listed as married to Virginia E. Gillett but by 1920 the couple had divorced. Gillett is also listed as a photographer in Ottumwa directories including 1902 and 1905.

PORTRAIT OF EARLY FILM ACTRESS ITA RINA

 

The pretty film actress seen in this vintage real photo postcard is Ita Rina (1907-1979). Her unusual name is actually a pseudonym. Italina Lida Kravanja was her given name and it’s understandable that she used a shorter and more catchy moniker. Miss Rina was a Slovenian film actress and beauty queen. In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s she was one of the major film stars in Germany and Czechoslovakia. After getting married in 1931 she changed her name to Tamara Dordevic. Rina was a poor student as a child and knew early on that she wanted to be an actress. In 1926 she entered a beauty contest sponsored by a Slovenian magazine and Rina won. She was then slotted to compete in the next level beauty contest but she arrived late and could not participate. No worry though, she was noted by a cinema owner who sent her photograph to German film producer Peter Ostermayer who invited her to Berlin for an audition. In 1927,  Rina went to Berlin without her mother’s permission. She took classes in acting and dancing. She made her debut in the film “What Do Children Hide from Their Parents” (1927). After a number of small film roles, she received some attention for her role in the film “Last Supper” (1928). Her breakthrough occurred in the film “Erotikon (Seduction)” (1929) in which she had a starring role. The film was a great success but upset some moral and Christian organizations for it’s eroticism. Some consider her best role to have been in the Czech sound film “Tonka Sibenice” (1930). Rina received an offer from Hollywood but her husband vetoed it and she decided to stay with her husband. However, she continued her film career until the beginning of World War II. Rina’s IMDB filmography asserts that she appeared in 19 films. This RPPC was produced by Iris Verlag. Iris Verlag was the most important Austrian publisher of film star postcards. It operated from Vienna during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The publishing house  Amag (Albrecht & Meister) is listed on the reverse of the card. The postcard is part of a series (no. 5118). The photographer was Kiesel of Berlin.

 

Published in: on June 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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PORTRAIT OF AN ADORABLE LITTLE GIRL IN FERDINAND, INDIANA

 

The little girl that is the subject of this vintage photographic portrait is absolutely adorable. She is wearing a cute patterned dress trimmed with lace. She also is wearing a couple of hair bows. The photographer of this image is Hubert Quante who had a studio in Ferdinand, Indiana. At least I think it is Hubert Quante. The embossment below the photograph is very difficult to decipher. My research found a man named “Hubert Quante” who lived in Ferdinand. Quante (1866-1927) can be found in a number of US censuses but his occupation is never listed as a photographer. It is likely that his foray into operating a photo studio was of short duration and never coincided with a year that the census was conducted. He may not have been a photographer for a long period of time, but he did a masterful job of taking and posing this photograph. Quante was German born and arrived in the United States in 1884. In 1897 he married Ida M. Quante. The town of Ferdinand was founded in 1840 and was named after the Emperor Ferdinand 1 of Austria. Most of the town’s early settlers were German speaking and they came to the US from central Europe.

Published in: on June 6, 2017 at 2:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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DRUMMER BOY: PORTRAIT OF JOHN NORRIS AT TWO YEARS OF AGE

This endearing vintage real photo postcard captures a barefoot little boy and his drum. He is looking quite proud and serious. The drum does not look like a toy. Perhaps it saw some action during the civil war. The reverse of the postcard has an inscription revealing that the child is named John M. Norris and that he is two years old. The inscription also states that this photograph was taken in 1914. The AZO stamp box offers a confirmation of the date. This stamp box was utilized between 1904 and 1918. This postcard was purchased near Austin, Texas.

Published in: on June 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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PROFILE PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

This cabinet card features a profile portrait of a a very pretty young woman. The photograph was taken by the F. G. Schumacher Gallery of Photographic Art in Los Angeles, California. The subject of this photograph appears to be in her teenage years. An article in the Los Angeles Herald (1886) is quite complimentary of Mr Schumacher. He is described as “one of the best photographic artists on the coast”. He is also referred to as “a graduate of the famous studio of Bradley & Rulofson” in San Francisco. The article also reports that he had taken portraits of many celebrities and had a particular talent in photographing children and infants. (To view photographs by Bradley & Rulofson, click on category Photographer: Bradley & Rulofson).  Frank G. Schumaker (1861-1930?) was born in California. The University of California (Berkley) archives asserts that he established a photography studio in 1882 on North Spring Street in Los Angeles. He is listed in Los Angeles business directories from at least 1888 through 1904. Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1897) printed an article entitled “Photographic Studies by Schumacher. The article praised his work.

Published in: on June 4, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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“IF LOOKS COULD KILL”: PORTRAIT OF A FAMILY AND THEIR DOG

 

I wish I knew what was going on in the photograph on this vintage real photo postcard. Mom, Dad and their child all are displaying very intense expressions. The man and woman are staring at each other. It is as if their eyes are throwing darts at each other. The child, wearing a nautical outfit, looks like he just saw a ghost. The child is standing on a wagon. The family dog is standing on it’s hind legs with one paw on the wagon. This postcard’s AZO stamp box indicates that it was produced sometime between 1904 and 1918.

Published in: on June 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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YOUNG CHILD WEARING FANCY ATTIRE IN PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE

This cabinet card features a portrait of a young child wearing fancy clothing. Note the large bow tie and the sash with tassels that serves as a belt. The photographer of this photograph is E. C. Nickerson. His studio was located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He is no stranger to the Cabinet Card Gallery. You may view more of his photographs by clicking on the category “Photographer: Nickerson”. Among his photographs are portraits of firemen. Nickerson’s name is listed in a number of Portsmouth directories from 1888 through 1892.

Published in: on June 2, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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PORTRAIT OF AN ATTRACTIVE Y0UNG WOMAN IN A DARK DRESS

This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of an attractive young woman wearing a dark dress with a high collar. She is wearing her hair loose and she is quite striking. This photograph was taken at an unidentified studio, at an unidentified location, and by an unidentified photographer.

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

TWO PORTRAITS OF BEAUTIFUL STAGE ACTRESS ALICE CRAWFORD (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARDS)

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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. 

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