PORTRAIT OF GERTRUDE BONNETTE: PRETTY FRENCH STAGE ACTRESS

This vintage real photo postcard features French stage actress Gertrude Bonnette. Initial research revealed no information about this pretty theater actress. Bonnette was photographed by the well known celebrity photographer Jacob Schloss (1856-1938) of New York City. Schloss was will known for his portraits of beautiful woman. He was also known as a photographer activist for working hard to gain certain rights for photographers. This photo postcard is published by Societe Industrielle de Photograpie (SIP) of Rueil, France and is part of a series (76 Serie no. 15).

PORTRAIT OF AN ADORABLE LITTLE GIRL IN ST. DENIS, FRANCE

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This carte de visite portrait features an adorable little girl holding a beach pail. Note the painting of a sailboat on the pail. She is wearing a dark dress with a white lace bib. She is wearing high top shoes. The little girl seems a bit intimidated by her photographic session. The photographer of this cdv image is R. Termoz and his studio was located in St. Denis, France. Saint-Denis is a town in the northern suburbs of Paris, France.

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Published in: on February 15, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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SWEET LITTLE GIRL AND HER DOLL IN ANNECY, FRANCE (CARTE DE VISITE PHOTOGRAPH)

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This carte de visite photograph features a portrait of an adorable little girl. She has the most interesting riveting eyes. She is wearing a long necklace and has a bow in her hair. The child is wearing boots and a short dress. During a recent trip to Austin, I noted that this style of dress was quite popular on the University of Texas campus. The little girl is standing next to her toy doll. This photograph was taken by J. Favrat who operated a studio in Annecy, France. The printing on the reverse of the image indicates that Favrat had won honors for his photography at a Paris exhibition in 1899. Therefore, we can safely conclude that this cdv photograph was produced sometime shortly after that date.

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Published in: on January 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF PRETTY FRENCH FILM ACTRESS JOSYANNE

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This vintage real photo postcard features French actress Josyanne (1901-1999) as she appeared in her screen role in the film “Carnelvale di enezia” (1928). The IMDb credits her with 14 film roles between 1924 and 1939 including L’aube de sang (1924), Le costaud des PTT (1931), and Aces of the Turf (1932). This postcard is of Italian origin and was edited by G. B. Falci of Milan. The postcard is part of a series (no. 103). Listed on the front of the photograph is the name Stefano Pittaluga (1887-1932). He was an Italian film producer credited with helping revive the Italian film industry in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. He began as an owner of cinemas and than expanded to become a powerful distributor of Hollywood movies. Pittaluga further grew his business by becoming a major film producer.

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Published in: on January 13, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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MYSTERIOUS STAGE ACTRESS: HELENE VERDES

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This vintage real photo postcard features actress Helene Verdes. At least I think that she is a stage actress. Perhaps a cabinet card gallery visitor knows something about her and will leave some biographical information in the form of a comment. I tried to research her but drew blanks. The photograph of Miss Verdes is by Lucien Walery and he certainly is known for his postcard portraits of theatre performers. Miss Verdes apparently didn’t receive much fame from her theatrical endeavors despite her great beauty.  Lucien Walery was a celebrated Paris photographer known for his portraits of artists and cabaret dancers from the city’s music halls. He is very well known for his portraits of Mata Hari and Josephine Baker. Walery did a lot of work in the genre of nude/erotic photography. He photographed the beautiful women of Paris between the early 1900’s and the 1920’s. Apparently there is considerable debate about Walery’s actual identity. Some contend that he was actually Stanislaw Julian Ignacy Count Ostrorog, a British photographer of Polish ancestry who may have moved to Paris in about 1900.  This postcard dates back to the early 1900’s and was published by Marqus Etoile of Paris and is part of a series (no. 310).

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Published in: on December 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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MARIE PREVOST: SILENT FILM STAR AND UPSETTING SUBJECT OF A SONG BY NICK LOWE

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The pretty actress featured in this vintage real photo postcard is film actress Marie Prevost (1896-1937). She was born in Canada and during her twenty-year career, she made 121 silent and talking movies. She was originally “discovered” by Mack Sennett who inked her to a film contract after she played a bit part in one of his movies. She was only on the set (Keystone Studios) because she was running an errand for the law firm where she was employed as a secretary. She became one of his Bathing Beauties in the late 1910’s. She appeared in dozens of Sennett’s short comedy films. Her first lead role was for Sennett in “Yankee Doodle in Berlin” (1919). She than began to make feature length films for Universal Studios, where she signed for $1,000.00 a week. In 1922 she moved to Warner Brothers where she became one of the studio’s leading ladies (her contract was for $1,500.00 per week). Her movie roles at Warner included “The Beautiful and Damned” (1922), “The Marriage Circle” (1924), and “Kiss Me Again” (1925). Warner Brothers dropped her in 1926 and her career began to diminish as she was offered primarily secondary roles. Her personal life also began to decline, if not plummet. Her mother died in 1926 and her second marriage, to actor Kenneth Harlan, fell apart in 1927. She became very depressed and her symptoms included alcohol abuse and binge eating. In 1928 she was cast in “The Racket” which was directed by Howard Hughes. The pair had a brief affair and when it ended, Prevost fell into an even deeper depression. It became increasingly difficult for her to obtain parts in films and her last film role was in 1936. At the age of 38, Marie Prevost died from acute alcoholism and malnutrition. Her estate was worth just three hundred dollars and her death helped prompt the creation of the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital. The details of Prevost’s death have become a bit of Hollywood legend. She was found in her apartment two days after her death. Also at death scene were empty bottles of alcohol, a promissory note to Joan Crawford, and Prevost’s pet dachshund. She was discovered because neighbors had complained about her dog’s continued barking. The legend claims that by the time she was found, her corpse was half-eaten by Maxie, her dog. It was asserted that this of course was only because the dog was trying to awaken his deceased master. This story is not true, but it appeared in Kenneth Anger’s book “Hollywood Babylon” (1959) and in Nick Lowe’s song “Marie Provost” (1978). The lyrics from Lowe’s song include “She was the winner, That became the doggie’s dinner, She never meant that much to me, Woe, poor Marie”. This postcard was published by A.N. of Paris for Universal Films. It is part of as series entitled “Les Vedettes de Cinema” (The Stars of Cinema). This postcard is the first in the series (No. 1).

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BEBE DANIELS: BEAUTIFUL AND MULTI TALENTED ACTRESS (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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These vintage real photo postcards feature actress Bebe Daniels (1901-1971). The top postcard was published by Cinemagazine (Paris Edition) and is part of a series (no. 121?). Miss Daniels is absolutely beautiful. She is nicely dressed and her outfit includes furs. She is wearing a large ring and a necklace with a cross. Bebe Daniels was an American actress, singer, dancer, writer and producer. She was born in Dallas, Texas to show business parents. Her father was a theater manager and her mother was a stage actress. She started her career in Hollywood as a silent film child actress. She became a star in musicals such as “42nd Street”. She worked opposite Harold Lloyd and was under contract with Cecil B. DeMille.  She later became a popular radio and television actress in Great Britain. In the 1920’s she was under contract with Paramount Pictures and made the transition to adult roles. In 1924 she played opposite to Rudolph Valentino in “Monsieur Bearcaire”. She also recorded songs for RCA Victor. When talkies began, she was hired by RKO. While with RKO her movies included a number of musicals such as “Dixiana” (1930) and  “Love Comes Along” (1930). Over the course of her career, she appeared in 230 films. She retired from Hollywood in 1935. After World War II she was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Truman for her service during the war. An interesting story concerning Miss Daniels is that while appearing in a Chicago hotel, several thousand dollars worth of her jewelry was stolen from her hotel room. Al Capone, the notorious gangster, was a longtime Daniels fan and put out an order that the thief had just 24 hours to return it “or else”. The jewelry was returned the following day.

The second postcard of Miss Daniels was published by Iris Verlag for Paramount Films (Fanamet). Fanamet was an Austrian film distribution company. The postcard was part of a series (no. 977). This profile portrait also displays the beauty and appeal of Miss Daniels.Iris Verlag was the most important Austrian publisher of film star postcards. It operated from Vienna during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Iris Verlag was a different company than Germany’s Ross Verlag. Iris cards restricted itself to one postcard format and did not publish scene card series popularized by Ross. The early Iris cards had a sepia brown tone while the cards from the 1930’s were closer to “black and white”.

The third photo postcard features Bebe Daniels dressed as a “harem princess”. She is wearing a two piece dress with lots of see-through material. She is dressed and posed to look beautiful and sexy. I believe that the mission was accomplished. The postcard was published by Ross Verlag in Germany circa 1920’s. The postcard is part of a series (no. 3213/1) and Paramount Studio is credited. This postcard portrait of Miss Daniels is rare.

 

 

AN ADORABLE BABY AND HER DOLL

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This vintage real photo postcard features a lovely image of an adorable little girl holding a beautiful doll. The child is wearing a lacy dress, a necklace, and a pink ribbon in her hair. She is so photogenic. This postcard was sent by a woman named Suzanne to her younger brother living in Argentan, France. The postmark dates back to 1906. Suzanne wrote her name on the top right hand corner of the front of the postcard. She wrote it in red which is the same color ink she used to write her message on the reverse. The postcard was published by Germany’s Neue Photographische Gesellschaft (NPG) (New Photographical Society). The company was in business between 1894 and 1948. It was founded by Arthur Black (1862-1943) and it became of the most well known and largest companies involved in the production of postcards. Over time, NPG opened subsidiaries in London, Paris, Rome, and New York. Interestingly, the company was one of the “Best Companies to Work For”. Employees were given free medical treatment and illness benefits. Employees also received bonuses and life insurance. The company offered it’s employees a library, a casino, and a dining room which sold food for cost. In addition, the company offered it’s workers a reading room and a theater for lectures and theatrical performances. Now we know where Google and other employee friendly companies got some of their ideas from. Printing on the reverse of this postcard mentions that this postcard is an “Oranotypie” and also lists the name “A. G. Steglitz”. An oranotype is a trade name for a type of glossy real photo postcard published by NPG at the beginning of the 20th century. These cards are hand colored. I am unsure if Steglitz was a postcard publisher or a photographer. I have seen postcard aficionados refer to him as both a photographer and a publisher. My guess is that most of these “experts” are as unsure as I am about his role in producing postcards. 

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A FATHER AND HIS YOUNG SON OUT FOR A BICYCLE RIDE

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This vintage real photo postcard features a father and his young son outside for a bicyclc ride. The pair are posed in front of a large tree. Father is well dressed and wearing a cap. The little boy is also well dressed and he is wearing a straw hat. The postcard appears to be of French origin and is a rare find.

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Published in: on November 23, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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JOAN OF ARC: READY FOR BATTLE (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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This vintage real photo postcard features a pretty actress portraying “Joan of Arc”. She is wearing armor, and holding a flag in one hand and a shield in the other. Her medieval costume includes breastplates and a helmet. She has a sword hanging at her side and is wearing boots that almost look “space age”. Joan of Arc (1412-1431) was nick named “The Maid of Orleans” and is a heroine of France for her role in the Hundred Years’ War. She was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. After being captured, she was tried and burned at the stake. The life of Joan of Arc became a popular subject in literature, theater, and film. Even Mark Twain wrote about her in the novel “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896) as did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in “The Mystery of Joan of Arc” (1924).

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