Who is Vera Lydia? My best guess is that she is a performer of some type. Popular enough to merit her own postcard portrait but not popular enough for me to find information about in an internet search. Miss Lydia was a pretty woman and she had wonderful big smiling eyes. The reverse of the postcard has a French stamp and print that indicates that the postcard was published by a combined printing group in Nancy, France. Hopefully, a Cabinet Card Gallery visitor will be able to enlighten the rest of us about the identity of this intriguing mystery woman.
This vintage real photo postcard features French actress and dancer, Anne Regina Badet (1876-1949). She was a major star of the Opera-Comique in Paris. She made her debut at the Grand Theatre de Bordeaux where she became a principal dancer She received much acclaim for her portrayal of Conchita Perez in “The Woman and the Puppet (1910)”. This postcard portrait shows her in this role. Her stage acting led her to a brief film career (eleven movies between 1908 and 1922). The Los Angeles Herald (1906) described Badet as the “new Paris pet” and that her dances in the Opera “Aphrodite” had “caused a furor among theater goers. A critic wrote that he went to see the performance because the opera was a “masterpiece” and because he wanted to see the star soprano, Mary Garden, interpretation of her role. Instead, he reports he was most drawn to the performance by Regina Badet. Miss Badet retired from stage and screen in the early 1920’s.The photographer of this image is listed on the postcard as “Bert”. I believe that this is the same photographer who partnered with celebrated photographer Paul Boyer who is known for his celebrity and theater images. This postcard was published by F. C. & C..
This vintage real photo postcard features French glamour star Herito (Mlle Hero). She was a celebrated actress and dancer of her era. Although she was a popular subject of photo postcards, this particular postcard is not very common. The postcard was published by Rotophot Berlin (RPH). Rotophot made it’s debut in Berlin, Germany around the turn of the century (1900). The company had other European offices including London and Budapest. They published many different postcard topics including stage stars. Many of their early postcards were tinted. Eventually Rotophot morphed into “Ross Verlag” a postcard company that collectors know for the many postcards they produced featuring actors and actresses.
A costumed Vilma Von Mayburg poses for her portrait in this vintage real photo postcard. The beautiful German stage and silent film actress is known for “Die Erbin des Grafen von Monte Christo (1919)”, Der siebente kub (1918)”, and “Menschen in Ketten (1919)”. Her film career began in 1916. This postcard was published by “EPA” which is the Albert Phototype Establishment. The company was located in Algers, Algeria.
This vintage real photo postcard features a costumed stage actress named Violet Bowman. Her clownish costume’s pattern includes men in tuxedos and blackface. Preliminary research yielded little information about Miss Bowman but it appears from the postcard that she performed at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris France. The theatre was designed by Gabriel Davioud after it was requested by Baron Haussmann between 1860 and 1862. Although it has been remodeled, the theatre is still in operation and currently seats 2,500 people. Violet Bowman is quite pretty in this portrait by celebrated Paris photographer, Paul Boyer (1861-1908). He photographed many famous people during his career. This postcard is published by Societe Industrielle de Photograpie (SIP) of Rueil, France and was part of a series (no. 1264). The postmark of this French stamped postcard is from Castelnaudary, France and is dated 1905. It is addressed to Mazamet, France.
THE MULTI TALENTED ACTRESS ULLIE AKERSTOM PHOTOGRAPHED BY MULTI TALENTED PHOTOGRAPHER CHARLES EISENMANN
Ullie Akerstrom had a professional career as a dancer, pantomimist, actress, playwright, and poet. Among her accomplishments was writing the play “Miss Roarer”. The production was written for Miss Annie Oakley and the famous wild west star appeared in the play on a London stage in 1894. The Swedish-American Miss Akerstrom was at one point known as “The Winsome Little Actress” and this photograph confirms her attractiveness. The cabinet card comes from the studio of Charles Eisenmann (1855-1927). He was German born and a well known celebrity photographer during the 1880’s and 1890’s in New York City’s Bowery District. Not only did he photograph celebrities (ie Mark Twain and Annie Oakley) but he also was known for his portraits of “human oddities” (ie. side show acts and people with birth defects). His son in-law, Frank Wendt, took over his studio in 1898. He later became the director of photography for Dupont. His work is very collectible. To view more of his images, click on the category “Photographer: Eisenmann”.
This vintage real photo postcard features actress singer Lili Damita (1904-1994). She was born Liliane Marie Madeleine Carre in Blaye, France in 1904. She was educated in convents and ballet schools in several European countries. She was a pretty and talented star actress of silent movies as well as early talkies. Her filmography includes 33 film appearances between 1922 and 1937. Damita started dancing professionally at sixteen years of age and made her film debut in 1922. As a teenager she danced in music halls and appeared in the revue of the Casino de Paris. She also worked as a photographic model. She starred in the film “The Queen was in the Parlor” (1926) by Noel Coward. She appeared with Ronald Colman in Sam Goldwyn’s film “The Rescue” (1929). Goldwyn feared that Damita’s accent would be a deterrent for success in talkies so Damita worked to change her accent and she appeared in her first talkie, “The Cockeyed World” (1929). Goldwyn eventually dropped her partially because she had been too honest with the press about her millionaire lovers. During her career, Damita worked with celebrated actors including Gary Cooper, Laurence Olivier, Cary Grant, Maurice Chevalier, and James Cagney. She had more than one marriage. Her second husband was actor Errol Flynn. They married in 1935 and were divorced seven years later. Cooper’s infidelities contributed to the dissolution of their marriage. The couple’s son, Sean Flynn, disappeared while photographing the Vietnam War, and was never found. She married again; this time to a dairy farmer named Allen Loomis. Her marriage to Loomis dissolved in 1962. In 1994 Damita died of Alzheimers disease in Palm Beach, Florida. This postcard is part of the “Picturegoer Series (No. 375” ) and was published in London, England. 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.
Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959) was an outstanding American actress and a member of the famous theatrical Barrymore family. She was born Ethel Mae Blythe in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents were actors and she was the sister of John and Lionel Barrymore. She was the great aunt of modern day actress Drew Barrymore.
Ethel Barrymore was considered by many to be the greatest actress of her generation. She was a major Broadway performer and first appeared there in 1895. She had roles in A Dolls House by Ibsen (1905). She was a strong supporter of the Actors’ Equity Association and played a major role in the 1919 strike. She played in Somerset Maugham’s comedy, The Constant Wife (1926). She also starred in motion pictures beginning her film career in 1914. Notable films included None but the Lonely Heart (1944) and The Spiral Staircase (1946). Around 1900, Winston Churchill proposed marriage to Barrymore but she refused. She later married Russell Griswold Colt in 1909 and had three children. She died of cardiovascular disease in 1959 at her home in California. The Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City is named in her honor.
The top cabinet card portrait of Ethel Barrymore was photographed by Phillips Photographers of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by Phillips, click on the category “Photographer: Phillips”. The second cabinet card image of the actress was produced by Sarony, the famous celebrity photographer who’s studio was located in New York City. To see other Sarony photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Sarony”.
The third portrait of Miss Barrymore appears on a postcard published by the Rotograph Company who operated in New York City and Germany. This postcard portrait was taken by famed Chicago photographer William Morrison. He is well known for his excellent portraits of theatrical stars. He produced both real photo postcards and cabinet cards. This postcard is number HB/1422 of the “Rotograph Series”. The image on this postcard is color tinted. This postcard has been mailed and postmarked (1907). The reverse of this postcard can be seen below.To view other photographs by Morrison, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”.
The fourth portrait of Ethel Barrymore is an uncommon one. The image provides a lovely profile view of this legendary actress. If you search for this exact postcard online, you likely won’t find it. This postcard was published by E. Frey & Company who operated in New York City . Research reveals that postcards displaying the printed name of “E. Frey” were actually published by the Souvenir Post Card Company which existed between 1905 and 1914. It was located at 268 Canal Street in New York City. The company was purchased by Valentine & Sons and the combined company became Valentine – Souvenir. This postcard was printed in Germany and is in good condition (see scan).
This vintage real photo postcard features actress Louise Lewis who played in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”. Miss Lewis did not reach stardom in her career but her stage experience did merit an appearance on this theatrical picture postcard. Preliminary research found meager biographical material about this actress, but an article in the Los Angeles Herald (1898) reports that the Calhoun Opera Company at the Los Angeles Theater was presenting “La Grande Duchesse” and that Louise Lewis was a member of the ensemble. It is not certain that the Louise Lewis pictured on this postcard is the same one referenced in the Herald article. This postcard appears to have an American origin and is part of a series (no. 13). This particular postcard was distributed by the Souvenir Post Card Shop in Cleveland, Ohio.