The pretty and well dressed woman featured in this cabinet card portrait is noted soprano, Etta Miller Orchard. Her photograph appears in “The International (1901)”. In addition, she is mentioned in “The Musical Courier (1902)” for her performance in a Good Friday service at the Marble Collegiate Church in Boston, Massachusetts. Interestingly the photographer of the image seen in “The International” is Aime Dupont, the same photographer who created the portrait seen above. Dupont is a well known New York City photographer who took many photographs of celebrities. To view more of his images and to learn more about him, click on the category “Photographer: Dupont”. The cabinet card is stamped on the reverse with the name “Charles L. Ritzmann”. Ritzmann was a well known collector and retailer of celebrity cabinet cards. To view more of Ritzmann’s photographs, click on the category “Charles Ritzmann Collection”.
The top photograph features stage actress Violet Lloyd posing for celebrity photographer Benjamin J. Falk at his New York City studio. Ms. Lloyd is adorned with flowers in her hair and looks quite beautiful as she poses with her rather large fan. Violet Lloyd was an English actress and singing comedienne. The New York Times (1896) published a favorable review of “The Geisha”, a play appearing at Daly’s Theater. The critic wrote that “The greatest individual hit last night was made by Violet Lloyd, an English Soubrette (female stock character in opera and theater)……….She is a piquant (engagingly provocative) little person, with a droll (amusing in an odd way) but pretty face, sufficient voice, a sense of humor, and plenty of agility”. It is clear that turn of the century newspaper writers were either better writers than today’s journalists, or else, their editors were more likely to encourage and expect higher quality writing. As a result, newspaper articles had a more literary style and used advanced vocabulary. Please forgive me for providing the definitions of some of the words in the quotation; I couldn’t stop myself. A stamp on the reverse of this cabinet card indicates that it was once part of the collection of Charles L. Ritzmann. Other photographs from Ritzmann can be viewed by clicking on the category “Charles Ritzmann Collection”. The second photograph was also done by a well known New York City celebrity photographer. Aime Dupont was of Belgian origin and he captured Miss. Lloyd wearing clothing that was likely costume from a play. Note the fan she holds above her head. Her pose, with her hand on her hip, likely reflects feigned shock or dismay. This cabinet card is also part of the Ritzmann collection. To view more photographs by Dupont and to learn more about him, click on the category “Photographer: Dupont”.
Violet Cameron (1862-1919), was an English stage star. She was the niece of burlesque legend Lydia Thompson. Cameron began her stage career as a child in 1871. She played several child roles at the Drury Lane Pantomime theatre. As an adult, she played many prominent roles in the most important English theatres. In 1886 she came to America and played in “The Commodore” and “Kenilworth”. In 1893 she had great success in the stage play “Morocco Bound”. She was involved in several scandalous love affairs during her stage career. The top cabinet card was a product of Elliot & Fry, a prominent London photography studio. The second cabinet card was produced at the studio of W & D Downey in London, England. The third portrait of Violet Cameron is also by Downey. She looks lovely in her ruffly dress and her plunging neckline (relative to the cabinet card era) highlights her necklace. The reverse of the cabinet card has the stamp of Charles Ritzmann of New York City indicating that it was once owned by the esteemed purveyor of theatrical photographs. The fourth photograph of Miss Cameron once again comes from the Downey studio. She appears to be wearing a wedding dress in this cabinet card portrait. To view other photographs by these two studios, click on the category Photographer: Elliot & Fry or Photographer: Downey.
Someone described the children in this photograph as enchanting; and I agree wholeheartedly. The kids in the photograph are all dressed in wonderful costumes. Perhaps they are dressed this way because they are going to a costume party. It is also possible that they are attired in costumes provided to them by the photographer for purposes of producing an interesting portrait. The children are dressed in occupational fashion. Focusing on the boys from left to right, we see a jester, a fishmonger, a courtier,and a bread seller. It is unclear to me what occupation the little girl is representing. The photographer of this image has the last name of “Veritas”. His studio was located in Ruma, Serbia.
This cabinet card features a pretty young woman in a risque pose. She is identified on the reverse of the image as Netty Hunter. The previous owner of this portrait reported that Miss Hunter was a theater actress but a search found no evidence to support the notion that she had a stage career. In fact, no biographical information could be found about her. The photographer of this image was Jacob Schloss. Schloss photographed many theater celebrities from his studio in New York City. A notation on the lower left corner of the image shows that the copyright date of this photograph is 1895. A fading stamp on the back of this cabinet card indicates that it was formerly part of a collection belonging to Charles L. Ritzman (943 Broadway, New York City) who collected among other things, photographs of theater actors and actresses. In sum, although there is evidence that Netty Hunter was a theater actress; the evidence is not conclusive.
Theodor Mommsen (1817-1903) is pictured in the Cabinet card photographed by Giacomo Brogil in Firenze, Italy. Mommsen was a German classical scholar, historian, jurist, journalist, politician, archaeologist, and writer. He is considered the greatest classicist of the 19th century. He was a great scholar of Roman History. He won the Nobel Prize in 1902. He was a member of the German and Prussian Parliaments. Mark Twain wrote of meeting him on his European tour of 1892. The photograph is from the Photographs of Celebrities collection of Charles L Ritzmann.
Theater actress Rose Lemoine is the subject of this Cabinet Card photographed by the Dana studio of New York. The photograph was part of the Charles L. Ritzmann collection. Ritzmann was a famous importer of theatrical photographs. The attractive Ms Lemoine was thought by some to be the model or the “Gibson Girl”. This upset some Americans because Lemoine was from Cuba, not the United States and the “Gibson Girl” was illustrator Charles Dana’s personification of the feminine ideal. The “Gibson Girl” was a popular figure for twenty years (about 1890-1910). Lemoine’s mother was Cuban and her father was a French coffee planter. In 1903, the New York Times mentions Lemoine as appearing in a Broadway play called “The Best of Friends”. Also appearing in that play was Lionel Barrymore and Agnes Booth.
This is a Cabinet card portrait of stage actress Effie Ellsler (1855?-1942). She was born in Cleveland, Ohio where her parents were actors and ran a leading playhouse. She made her debut as a child and as an adult had opportunities to act with Edwin Booth, Lawrence Barrett and other celebrities during their Cleveland tours. Ellsler came to New York in 1880 and was a sensation in her first part in the title role of Hazel Kirke. She played that role for three years but than made a series of poor starring role choices in a number of melodramas. For most of the 1890’s she toured in road companies. She later played with Maxine Elliott in the Merchant of Venice. Ellsler’s last hit was in the Bat (1920). This Cabinet card portrait is from the esteemed studio of Charles Ritzmann of New York City.