PORTRAIT OF BEAUTIFUL GERMAN SILENT FILM ACTRESS: ALLY KOLBERG

This vintage real photo postcard features beautiful German silent film actress, Ally Kolberg. Her movie career was brief. She appeared in films between 1916 and 1923 and they included 16 German films and 1 Swedish production. She was often directed by female directors. During her career she was also credited as Ally Bing and Ally Kay Bing.  Initial research revealed very little about the life of Miss Kolberg. More intensive investigation is required. This postcard was published by Rotophot, which began publishing “RPH” postcards in 1916. This postcard is part of a series (no 4794/3). The production of film star postcards was continued by the Ross Verlag company who’s origins can be traced back to the earlier Rotophot postcard company. This postcard has a Bavarian stamp and is postmarked from Weilheim, Bavaria.

 

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TWO PORTRAITS OF PROVOCATIVE GERMAN SILENT FILM STAR RUTH WEYHER

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This vintage real photo postcard features German silent film actress, Ruth Weyher (1901-1983). She was born in Neumark, East Prussia, Germany.  Weyher grew up in Danzig where she studied painting until she switched to a conservatory to study singing. An illness robbed her of her singing voice and in 1919 she travelled to Berlin where she studied a Max Reinhardt’s theatre school. Reinhardt was a well known director and producer. She appeared in 48 films between 1920 and 1930. She starred in director Georg Wilhelm Pabst’s film “Secrets of the Soul” (1926). She also produced a film in 1929. During her career, Weyher only appeared in a few sound movies and she abandoned acting after marrying publisher Hans Geiselberger in 1932. It is reported that she retired at her husband’s request. The video clip below features Miss Weyher in her appearance in the film “Shadows: A Nightly Hallucination” (1923). The film title translation was done by “google translate”. Weyher’s costar in this film was Austrian stage and film actor Fritz Kortner (1892-1970). A review of this film describes Weyher as “beautiful and passionate”.  Ruth Weyher’s appearance in this film can be described as risque or provocative. One of the themes of this film is infidelity. This postcard was published by Ross Verlag and is part of a series (no. 3529/1). The portrait of Miss Weyher was taken by Alex Schmoll, a photographer located in Berlin, Germany. There is Italian print on the reverse of the postcard that roughly translates as “Exclusive sale publisher: Ballerini and Fratini, Firenze (Florence, Italy). A bit of research reveals that the publishing house, Ballerini & Fratini Montespertoli began in Florence in the year 1912.                                     The second postcard featuring Ruth Weyher was also published by Ross Verlag. The postcard is part of a series (no. 3089/1). This portrait of Miss Weyher  has her posed in position to display her bare back. She has an engaging smile and holds a large fan of dark feathers. Some may find this image somewhat sexually provocative. The photographer of this photograph is Kiesel of Berlin, Germany.

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BEAUTIFUL FRENCH PERFORMER: BLEUETTE D’ARTOIS

This vintage real photo postcard features pretty French performer Bleuette D’Artois. She is beautifully dressed. In fact, she appeared in a postcard series called “Queens of Fashion”. The postcard was published by E.L.D. (E. Le Delay), a company located in Paris, France. The postcard is part of a series (no. 4264). The postmark is dated 1918 and the postcard was postmarked in Merbes-le-Château, Belgium. The postcard has a Belgian stamp.

 

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

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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.                                                                                                            The third postcard is a portrait of Miss Bronson that was published by Iris Verlag as part of a series (#504). Iris Verlag was the most important Austrian publisher of film star postcards. It operated from Vienna during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The film star looks quite beautiful and is wearing a fancy dress, long white gloves, and a tiara. Imbedded in the photo of the actress is a logo for “Fanamet Films”.  Fanamet was an Austrian film distribution company.

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ACTRESS IVY CLOSE: IN 1908 SHE WAS RATED THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD

This vintage real photo postcard features British film actress Ivy Close (1890-1968). Miss Close acted in 44 films between 1912 and 1929.  Ivy Close was born in, and died in, England. Her first husband was a well known photographer and film maker. His name was Elwin Neame (1885-1923) and he and Close established “Ivy Close Films” in 1914. The couple had two sons and both went into the movie business. Close was married a second time in 1938. Her second husband was Curly Batson, an Australian stuntman and make-up artist. If you think that she is quite beautiful, join the club. In 1908, she was named the “World’s Most Beautiful Woman” by Britain’s Daily Mirror. She beat over 1500 competitors for the title of Britain’s beauty queen. In 1916, the actress came to the US and made twelve films for the Kalem Company in New York. Close had some interesting hobbies. She motorcycled, golfed, served as an advertising model, and sang in English music halls. Upon the arrival of “talkies”, Close’s acting career came to a screeching halt. It was decided by higher-ups that her English accent was unacceptable to American audiences. This postcard was printed in Britain and was part of the Lilywhite Photographic Series (no. C M 404D). The publisher, Lilywhite Ltd, Halifax (L.L.H.), was founded by Arthur Frederick Sergeant. He also was the founder of Halifax Photographic Company which was based in Halifax, England. Lilywhite began publishing postcards in 1910; and in the 1920’s, the company took over Arrow Series Postcards. The company then published postcards under both the Arrow and Lilywhite names.

Published in: on February 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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BELGIAN STAGE AND FILM ACTRESS: JANE MARNAC

This vintage real photo postcard features pretty Belgian stage and film actress, Jane Marnac (1892-1976). She appeared in dozens of parts on stage and sang in numerous operettas. She is well known for appearing in “Au temps des valses ” (1930), a play by Noel Coward that played at the Apollo Theater. She is also remembered for her role in “The Darling of Paris” (1931). Wikipedia provides a list of twenty of her play appearances (1912-1938) and notes that it is an incomplete list.  Wikipedia also lists six films (1911-1931) in which Marnac made appearances.  In regard to her personal life, she was born in Brussels, Belgium. She married an English officer in 1927. This postcard was published by K.F. (Kunzli Freres) of Paris, France and is part of a series (no. 2315). The company was one of the largest pioneer postcard publishing houses. The company was established in 1874. It had offices in Zurich and Paris. Beginning 1898, it became known for publishing postcard maps throughout Europe. The photographer who took Miss Marnac’s portrait seen on this postcard, was Leopold Reutlinger.

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.

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

 

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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.

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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)  
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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.