PORTRAIT OF BEAUTIFUL STAGE ACTRESS ALICE CRAWFORD BY ALEXANDER BASSANO (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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This vintage real photo postcard features 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 above 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). 

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BEAUTIFUL STAGE ACTRESS DENISE ORME (TWO VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARDS)

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The top vintage real photo postcard features stage actress Miss Denise Orme. She is very attractive and beautifully dressed. She is wearing a fur stole and and fur muffs. She has a lovely hat and wonderful smile. Miss Orme’s given name was Jessie Smither, and was later known as Duchess of Leinster. Denise Orme (1885-1960) was an English music hall singer, actress and musician who was a regular performeer at the Alhambra and Gaiety Theatres in London during the early years of the twentieth century. Her mother was a professor of music. She trained for her theatrical career at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music. Her stage debut was in 1906 in the chorus at Daly’s Theatre in London. Later that same year she appeared in the title role of “See See” at the Prince of Wales Theatre. In 1906 she participated in gramophone recordings of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado”. Her marital history reveals that she had a predilection to choosing husbands that were “rich and famous”. She was married to an English Baron, A Danish millionaire, and an Irish duke. She was the maternal grandmother of Aga Khan IV.who is the current Imam of Nizari Ismailism which is a denomination of of Ismailism within Shia Islam with 15 million adherents. He is also a British business magnate. Miss Orme’s photographic portrait was taken by the Foulsham and Banfield Studio. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio in the 1900’s through the 1920’s. The postcard was published by Rotary Photo and is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (#4098 Q). The postcard has a postmark from London, England, and dated 1907. The postmark date reveals that this portrait of Miss Orme was taken at the beginning of her stage career. In the message section of the postcard, the sender asks the receiver, “What do you think of Denise?”. In addition, the sender asserts on the front of the postcard “Nice hat, isn’t it?”. I have to agree; not only is Miss Orme lovely, so is her hat.  The second postcard shows the beautiful and well dressed Miss Orme peeking out from behind a curtain. The photographer is Alexander Bassano (1829-1913) who was a leading royal and high society photographer located in London. This postcard, like the first was published by Rotary Photo and is part of the Rotary Photgraphic Series (no. 1933 I).

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REVERSE OF TOP POSTCARD

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REVERSE OF BOTTOM POSTCARD

MISS RENEE MAYER: CHILD ACTRESS AS PUCK IN “THE SLEEPING BEAUTY RE-AWAKENED” (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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This vintage real photo postcard features child actress, Miss Renee Mayer, posing in character for photographers Foulsham and Banfield. She is photographically captured in her role as Puck in the theatrical production of “The Sleeping Beauty Re-Awakened”. Note the cute little puppy that she is holding. Mayer was a child actress and dancer who made her stage debut in 1910 as the Pearl Fairy in “The Goldfish”. She is most noted for her performance as Puck in three revivals of “Sleeping Beauty” (1912, 1913, 1914). She acted in pantomimes throughout her teenage years and appeared in films in the early 1920’s including “A Bachelor Husband” (1920). Miss Mayer was born in 1900 which informs us that she was somewhere around thirteen years old when she posed for this photograph. The New York Times (1915) mentions Renee Mayer in an article about a play called “Masque of War and Peace”. Looking at the roster of cast members in this production, it becomes clear that the show had an all-star cast. Performers included Mme Rejane, Lily Elsie, Edna May, Viola Tree, Elsie Janie, Lily Langtry and of course Miss Mayer. The show was performed at the Drury Lane Theatre to raise money for “The American Women’s War Relief Fund”. Great Britain’s National Portrait Gallery has twenty real photo postcard portraits of Miss Mayer. Three of the images are photographs by Foulsham and Banfield and published by Rotary Photo (just like the image above). This postcard is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 6924 B) and was printed in Britain.

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BEAUTIFUL BRITISH STAGE ACTRESS: OLIVE MORRELL (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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This vintage real photo postcard features a very beautiful British stage actress named Olive Morrell. She was a successful enough actress to merit having six portraits of her included in the United Kingdom’s National Portrait Gallery. She performed in England and toured in Australia. She was  born as Olive Miller; Morrell was her stage name. In 1908, she married Willie Kelly (1877-1960), an Australian politician. The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (1905) highlights her career including her role in “The Spring Chicken” at the Gaiety Theatre. In researching the play, I was struck by the number of well known actresses appearing alongside her. The cast included Kitty Mason, Kate Cutler, Gaynor Rowlands, Ethel Oliver, and Gertie Millar. This was certainly an all star lineup and any collector of theatrical postcards will be familiar with these actresses. Collectors will also note that these women were  quite pretty and their postcard images were, and still are, very collectible. Miss Morrell is also the subject of an article in The Play Pictorial (1905) which mentions her appearance in a theatre production called “The Talk of the Town”. This postcard was produced by Rotary Photo as part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 1547 C). It is truly a special portrait of Miss Morrell. After viewing many postcard images of this actress; I believe this portrait is one of the finest portraits of Olive Morrell that a postcard collector can find. This photograph captures her beauty as well as provides a close look at fashion during the turn of the century.

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PORTRAIT OF A “FLORODORA GIRL”….HEY, WHAT’S A FLORODORA GIRL? (VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPH)

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This vintage photograph features a portrait of a “Florodora Girl”.  You may be wondering “what the heck is a Florodora Girl”? I was asking myself the same question when the previous owner of this image described the pretty woman in this photograph as a “Florodora Girl”. Being curious, I did a little research and found that “Florodora” was an Edwardian musical comedy that became one of the first successful Broadway musicals of the twentieth century. The show opened in London in 1899. Actresses Evie Greene and Ada Reeve were among the show’s performers. The Broadway production was performed at the Casino Theater in 1900 and ran for 552 performances. The show achieved some of its success from it’s chorus line of “Florodora Girls”. A wikipedia entry describes the six female performers comprising the line as being”tall, gorgeous damsels, clad in pink walking costumes, black picture hats and carrying frilly parasols (who) swished onto the stage and captivated New York for no other reason than they were utterly stunning”. Please pardon my brief excursion to the land of theater history. Now, lets get back to this image. The reverse of this photograph has an inscription that states “Maid and the Mummy”. It is probably a safe bet to conclude that the subject of this photograph was an actress that appeared in the production of “Maid and the Mummy”. “The Maid and the Mummy (1904)” was a musical comedy that played at the New York Theater in New York City. The show played 42 performances. Actresses in the play included May Boley, Adele Rowland, Janet Priest, and Annie Yeamans. The Cornell Daily Sun (1905) reviewed the play and reported that the production was “one of the most elaborate the stage has seen in recent years”. Interestingly, the article also states that ” “The Maid and the Mummy’ is the biggest success since “Florodora”. After some investigating, I strongly believe that the actress seen in this image is Adele Rowland. Take a look at the photograph below which is a photograph of Miss Rowland taken by photographer Joseph Hall, the same photographer of the photograph seen above. Do the women in these two images resemble each other enough to be the same person? I think so. Who is Adele Rowland? Adele Rowland was born in 1883 in Washington D.C.. Her sister, Mabel Rowland (1882-1943) was also an actress. Adele was a soprano with an “effervescent personality” who excelled in musical comedies. The New York Times (1904) reviewed “The Maid and the Mummy” and wrote that Rowland and May Boley “had something to say and sing, but their chief duty was to be looked at”. In 1915, she introduced the song “Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag”. That song has stuck around over time. She also had a film career; appearing in six films between 1941 and 1950. She died in 1971. Here is some information about photographer Joseph Hall. He had studios in both Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York. He pursued his career between 1865 and 1915. Hall mass produced carte de visite portraits and albumin prints for the public. He also was a pioneer in producing photo-illustrated books in the 1860’s. He also was well known for being a premier photographer of professional baseball teams and players in the 1880’s. In addition, Hall did a lot of work in the area of photographing theatrical stars and productions. He died in 1915. To view more of Joseph Hall’s photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Hall”.

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                                                                                                                                                Close-Up of Floradora Girl

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                                                                                                                                     Confirmed Photo of Adele Rowland

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                                                                                                                                       Reverse of Floradora Photograph

COSTUMED ACTRESS POSES WITH HER GUITAR IN LEAD, SOUTH DAKOTA

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A young woman poses with a guitar at the Mcddaugh Studio in Lead, South Dakota. She appears to be an actress or a singer based on her elaborate costume. Preliminary research found little information about photographer E. Mcddaugh. Lead is located in western South Dakota in the Black Hills near the Wyoming border. The city of Lead was founded in 1876 after gold was discovered there. Lead was established as a company town by the Homestake Mining Company. In 1910, Lead was the second largest town in the state (population of 8,382). South Dakota became a state in 1889.This cabinet card was produced after 1889 as indicated by the “S. D.” printed below the image.

 

 

Published in: on July 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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BEAUTIFUL FRENCH THEATRE ACTRESS MISS LILLIANE WEARING A POLKA DOT BIKINI

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This vintage real photo postcard features French stage actress Miss Lilliane wearing a turn of the century bikini, kerchief, and cape. She is dressed and posed in a risque manner. The photograph was taken by Walery of Paris, France. Stanislaw Julian Ignacy, Count Ostrorog (1863-1935) followed in the footsteps of his father Stanislaw Ostrorog (1830-1890) to become a photographer. He also kept his father’s “photographer name”. The senior Ostorog had changed his name to “Stanislaw Walery” for professional purposes. The last name of “Walery” was derived from his wife’s name, “Waleria”. The elder Walery had set up his London studio in 1883. To view other photographs by Walery, click on the category “Photographer: Walery”.This postcard was published by Papier Guilleminot and is part of a series (#17). The postmark is from Brotteaux, France. Brotteaux is a neighborhood in Lyon, France. It is located between the Rhone River and the railway.

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Published in: on June 29, 2016 at 7:02 pm  Comments (4)  
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PORTRAIT OF STAGE ACTRESS AND JOURNALIST JULIE OPP (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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This vintage real photo postcard features stage actress Julie Opp (1871-1921).  Miss Opp was an American stage actress who was for many years popular in America as well as in Europe. She was the wife of actor William Faversham. She married him after the pair co-starred in the Broadway production of “The Royal Rival” (1902). The internet Broadway data base indicates that Miss Opp appeared in six Broadway shows from 1901 through 1911. Julie Opp was born in New York City in 1871. Her Bavarian father ran a saloon on lower Manhattan”s Bowery Street and was active in local politics.  Her mother was Irish-American. Julie began her education in public schools but her mother decided to transfer her to a local convent to receive her education. The young girl shocked  the sisters and bishop when she told them that she wanted to become a ballet dancer when she grew up. By the time she graduated, she had replaced her ambition to dance, with becoming a writer. Her first job was being a a journalist with the New York Recorder. She was a fashion writer. As part of her work as a journalist, she became involved with many people in the theatre world including Sarah Bernhardt and Emma Calve. The show business performers tried to convince her to become an actress. As a result she dabbled in acting but in 1896 she chose the stage over writing and performed in Shakespeare’s “As You Like it” at London’s St. James Theatre. A review of her performance seen in “To-Day” (1896) stated she was “charming” and “equipped for the performance of brilliant work, either on the press or stage”. In 1906 she published “The Squaw Man: A Novel”. She fell seriously ill in 1914 while traveling abroad with her husband and two sons. She appeared to recover and performed again, but soon suffered a relapse causing her to retire from acting. She then spent her remaining years at her residence in New York City and her country house on Long Island. She died after a failed operation in 1921. This postcard was published by the Rotary Photo Company as part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 1572 B). Miss Opp was photographed by L. Caswall Smith. Lizzie Caswall Smith (1870-1958) was a British photographer who operated in the early 1900’s. She specialized in photographing members of society and celebrities. Many of her photographs were used for postcards. She was involved in the Women’s Suffrage movement and photographed many of the leading suffragettes. She also photographed many actors including Billie Burke and Maude Fealy. She operated the Gainsborough Studio from 1907 through 1920 (309 Oxford Street) and moved to a new location (90 Great Russell Street) where she remained until she retired in 1930 at the age of 60 years-old. Her most famous photograph is a portrait of Florence Nightingale taken in 1910. It was auctioned in 1908 and sold for 5500 pounds which is an equivalent today of nearly 8,000 dollars. The National Portrait Gallery has 84 portraits associated with Lizzie Caswall Smith.

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MOLLIE FULLER: STAGE ACTRESS AND VAUDEVILLE PERFORMER

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This cabinet card is a portrait of Mollie (Molly) Fuller (1868-1933), a Boston born stage and vaudeville performer. She appeared in two Broadway plays but is better known for her vaudeville career. She was the second wife of Frederick Hallen (1859-1920) and the couple were a popular team on the vaudeville stage for nearly twenty-five years. They were known for their short comedic plays. Mollie’s resume includes performances in “Adonis” and in “Evangeline”, both plays by  Edward Rice. He biggest hit was her starring role in “The Twentieth Century Girl” (1895). When producer Edward Albee learned Mollie was near blind an impoverished in Chicago, he arranged to bring her to New York. He commissioned a theater piece to be written for her to perform in. She returned to the stage to perform in the resulting playlet “Twilight”. Mollie was the sister of Loie Fuller (1862-1928). Loie was a pioneer of modern dance and theatrical lighting techniques. Among Loie’s skills was her talent as a “skirt dancer”. She died in Hollywood, California, at the age of 68 in 1933. At the time of her death she was receiving assistance from “Troupers”, a national vaudeville players association. This cabinet card was issued by “Newsboy” which was a tobacco company that used cabinet cards as premiums to encourage sales of their tobacco products. This image is number forty-one of a series.

PORTRAIT OF PRETTY THEATER ACTRESS AND PLAYWRIGHT GRACE HEYER (PHOTOGRAPHER: JACOB SCHLOSS)

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This cabinet card portrait features stage performer and playwright Grace Heyer. The Internet Broadway Data Base lists Miss Heyer as performing in eleven Broadway shows. Her “Great White Way” career began with “Cyrano de Bergerac” (1900) and ended with “Great Gatsby” (1926). Her photo appears in Munsey’s Magazine (1899) and she is credited with appearing in “The Wife”. Her portrait also appears in Theatre Magazine (1904) where she is described as a “young emotional actress” who has headed her own theater company. The Greenback Magazine (1914) describes Heyer as a “formerly well known actress” whose new play “The Philosopher” was to be introduced by the “Liebler Company”. Miss Heyer looks quite beautiful in this cabinet card image. The photograph is subtly provocative. The profile portrait reveals her partially bare back and her bare neck and in the image her expression can be described as being sultry. This photograph was taken by celebrity photographer Jacob Schloss (1856-1938) in his Manhattan studio. Schloss received his education at the Cooper Union in New York City. He graduated in 1872 as an etcher. He joined Benjamin J. Falk’s photography studio and worked there in the mid 1870’s. He left Falk’s employ to open his own studio (54 West 23rd Street) where like Falk, he specialized in theatrical photography. He tended to favor photographing actresses in costume in front of generic studio furnishings. He produced many cabinet card photographs but also was active in the production of magazine images. By the 1890’s he was particularly known for his photographs of beautiful women, much like photographer Jose Maria Mora. Schloss also was an activist for photographers rights. He was very involved in the movement to copyright images. He sued those who used his photographs without crediting or paying him. He was very involved in national photographer associations and was an active photographer until the 1910’s. To view other photographs by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Schloss”.

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Published in: on May 21, 2016 at 12:12 pm  Comments (2)  
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