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.

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

 

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POSTCARD 1

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POSTCARD 2

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POSTCARD 3

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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 POSTCARD ONE

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POSTCARD TWO

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POSTCARD 3

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

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POSTCARD 2

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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.

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CUTE DOG SNIFFING THE CORK ON A BOTTLE OF WHISKEY

This vintage real photo postcard features a cute dog sniffing the cork on a bottle of whiskey. Below the photo is the caption “His Master’s Vice”. The dog on this comical postcard appears to be Jack Russell or a Chihuahua. Of course, the dog certainly may be a mixed breed. The postcard was postmarked in Seattle in the year 1946. The recipient of this postcard was Colleen Bolze, a sixteen year old girl in Chanute, Kansas.  Printed on the right bottom of the card is the name “C & D”. This may represent the publisher but initial research was unable to confirm that C & D was a postcard publishing company.

Published in: on January 15, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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.

 

 

 

 

BEAUTIFUL AND CHARMING FRENCH THEATER AND MUSIC HALL STAR: MLLE. NALUGB (PHOTO BY PAUL BOYER)

This vintage real photo postcard features beautiful French theater and music hall performer Mlle. Nalugb. The portrait was expertly taken by the celebrated French 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. 1381). The postcard dates back to circa 1904-1908).

Published in: on January 11, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A ROWBOAT ROMANCE

This vintage real photo postcard features a couple in a rowboat. This romantic rowboat cruise is likely taking place in the photographer’s studio. Interestingly, the young lady is looking at the photographer while the the rowboat captain is staring at his pretty first mate. The “Cyko” stamp box on this postcard indicates that it was published sometime between 1904 and 1920.

Published in: on January 8, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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DEANNA DURBIN: POPULAR, BEAUTIFUL, AND TALENTED FILM STAR WHO WANTED TO BE ANONYMOUS

This vintage real photo postcard features Canadian born American singer and actress, Deanna Durbin (1921-2013). She is beautifully dressed. Her hat is a nice touch. Deanna Durbin looks quite pretty in this photo portrait. The postcard notes her affiliation with Universal Films. The postcard was published by Echte Foto, a Dutch company. Miss Durbin was an active performer between 1936 and 1948. She appeared in musical films and had the technical skill and vocal range of a legitimate soprano. She sang multiple styles of music including popular standards and operatic arias. Durbin’s first film  appearance was with Judy Garland in MGM’s “Every Sunday” (1936). A YouTube clip of the two young actresses performing a duet from this film can be seen below. Shortly after her debut movie, she was given a contract by Universal Studios. She had great success with the studio playing “the ideal teenage daughter” is such films as “Three Smart Girls” (1936).  She was only 14 years old when she appeared in “Three Smart Girls” and became an established star. Afterward, she had a string of successful musical films. In 1936, Deanna was offered an audition for the Metropolitan Opera but she rejected the offer because she believed she needed more operatic training. From 1936 through 1938, Durbin did a radio collaboration with Eddie Cantor. In 1938, Durbin was awarded an Academy Juvenile Award. Her co-winner was actor Micky Rooney.Durbin tired of her girl-next-door roles and by 1945, had appeared in a couple of films in more sophisticated roles. Unfortunately, she was not well received in these more mature roles. In 1946, Durbin was the second highest paid woman in the United States, second to Bette Davis. Durbin became the highest paid female in America in the year 1948. By 1949, she retired from acting and singing and never returned to public life. In fact, she never again agreed to be interviewed by the press, with just one exception. Durbin hated the adulation she received in her career and yearned for a “life of nobody”. She wanted to be anonymous. During her acting career, Durbin appeared in 23 films and even more sound recordings. Durbin had three marriages. Her husbands were assistant director Vaughn Paul (1941), writer-producer-actor Felix Jackson (1945) , and film producer-director Charles Henri David (1950).

                                                Judy Garland & Deanna Durbin – Americana (Every Sunday, 1936)

THE LITTLE BOY AND THE SEA (RUSSIAN VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPH)

This vintage real postcard is unique and adorable. A little boy is at the helm of a miniature sailing ship, not far from shore. Beach goers and large boats can be seen in the background. The toy ship commanded by this child is amazingly realistic down to the tiniest details. A logo below the photo states “Anana Kypopm” (the photographer?) and is dated 1964. The photographer’s logo displays a light house and a sailboat which indicates that the photo studio shooting this photograph was likely located in a beach resort town. The photo measures about 5 1/2″ x 3 1/2″.

Published in: on January 2, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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“THATS ENTERTAINMENT”: A PRECIOUS LITTLE GIRL AND HER ACCORDION

This vintage photo postcard captures a most adorable wide-eyed little girl sitting on a wooden chair and holding an accordion. The girl’s expression is precious. She seems happy to be posing for this photograph. She is sitting in front of a collection of her toys including a nutcracker man, a dog on wheels, and a doll. The accordion has the logo of the Cucciolo company. This company operated in Italy and this postcard is likely of Italian origin and produced in the 1930’s. Printing on the reverse of the postcard indicates that the postcard was published on Agfa postcard paper. Founded in 1867, “Actien-Gesellschaft fur Anilin-Farrikation” (AGFA) produced chemical liquids for photography. In 1913, the company becgan to produce postcard papers. The company’s primary factory was located in Berlin, Germany.

Published in: on December 31, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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