A WOMAN AND TWO COWS POSE FOR THEIR PORTRAIT IN A PASTURE

This vintage real photo postcard features a stout woman posing with two cows. The woman is wearing a wide smile. One might say that she is in a state of udder delight. This bovine aficionado seems a bit young to have gone to pasture. A postcard like this one would likely fall in the “rare” category. Over the many years I have collected real photo postcards, I have yet to see one like it.

Published in: on May 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (8)  
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PORTRAIT OF AN ATTRACTIVE FAMILY WEARING WINTER CLOTHING

This vintage real photo postcard captures a mother and her two young children posing for their portrait at an unidentified photo studio. The whole family appears quite apprehensive about having their photograph taken. The trio are dressed for winter. All three are wearing winter coats and hats. The older child is wearing gloves and the youngest child is wearing a muff. This image features a  truly attractive family.

Published in: on April 30, 2017 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

PORTRAIT OF LILY ELSIE: BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED STAGE ACTRESS (VINTAGE RPPC)

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This vintage real photo postcard features celebrated stage actress Miss Lily Elsie (1886-1962). At the time of her portrait sitting for this image, Miss Elsie was also known as “Mrs. Ian Bullugh”. More about that later. Lily Elsie was a very popular English actress and singer. She was most known for her starring role in the London production of “The Merry Widow (1907)”. The show ran for 778 performances. A critic for The Pelican (1907) wrote that “the youthfulness, the dainty charm and grace, the prettiness and the exquisite dancing with which Miss Elsie invests the part…. I share the opinion of most of the first-nighters, who considered it could not have been in better hands, and could not have been better handled…. The night was a genuine triumph for Miss Elsie, and she well deserved all the calls she received”. She began as a child actress and before her big break had appeared in a number of Edwardian musical comedies. She was charming and beautiful and became one of the most photographed actresses of her time. Lily Elsie’s dad was a theater worker and her aunt was well known actress Ada Reeve. Shortly after the turn of the century she joined George Edwardes’ company at the Daly Theater. Some of her early appearances included “A Chinese Honeymoon”, “Lady Madcap”, “The Little Michus (1905)”. In the years between 1900 and 1906 she appeared in 14 shows. After the “Merry Widow” she appeared in  26 more shows including “The Dollar Princess” (1909) and “A Waltz Dream” (1911). She clearly was an actress who was in demand. Men paid her much attention but apparently she did not enjoy the attention. Lucile, her costume designer for “The Merry Widow” stated that Elsie was “absolutely indifferent to men and had once said that she disliked “the male character”. She added that men would only behave well if a woman “treated them coldly”. Now, some words about her marriage. In 1911 she he left the cast of a play in which she was performing to marry Major John Ian Bullough (1885–1936). Major Bullough was the son of a wealthy textile manufacturer. He was formerly married to actress Maude Darrell who only survived one year after their 1909 marriage. The marriage between Elsie and Bullough was reported to be very unhappy. Elsie’s health began to deteriorate and her husband pressured her to quit the stage and she was ready to do so. She returned to the stage during the war years (World War I) and was active in fund raising for the war effort. She next took a ten year break from the stage only to return once again. Her final performance took place in the Daly Theater in the play “The Truth Game” (1929). In addition to her theater career, Elsie made recordings, and appeared in two films, including D. W. Griffith’s “The Great Love” (1918). Also appearing in that film was Lillian Gish. In 1930 Elsie’s marriage ended in divorce. Her health began to deteriorate more and she developed hypochondriasis causing her to spend much time in nursing homes and sanitariums. Due to her psychological problems she had brain surgery. Her final years were spent at St. Andrews hospital in London. This postcard is part of a series (Arcadian no. A 26). The photographer of this image of this beautiful actress is the well known celebrity photographer, Rita Martin. She was considered one of the best British photographers of her time. She opened her studio in 1906. Martin’s sister, Lallie Charles was an esteemed society photographer. Many of Rita’s photographs can be found in the National Portrait Gallery. To view more photographs by Rita Martin in the cabinet card gallery, click on the category “Photographer: Martin”.

The second postcard of Miss Elsie provides a terrific close-up photograph of the beautiful Miss Elsie. She is wearing a dark jacket, a frilly high collared blouse and a ribbon bow tie. Her accessories include a long necklace, a pin low on her blouse, and a corsage. The postcard is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 4159 J) published by Rotary Photo. The photograph was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield Studio. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio in the 1900’s through the 1920’s.

The third postcard features Lily Elsie clutching a bouquet of flowers and glancing sideways at the photographer. She looks absolutely beautiful. She is wearing a fancy beaded dress and a bracelet. She stands in front of a window. This photograph, like the second postcard’s photo, was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield studio. The portrait postcard was published by Rotary Photo and is part of a series (11840 F). The postcard was printed in Britain.

                                              

                                                       Wedding Photo (1911)

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STUDIO PHOTOGRAPH OF A VERY HAPPY BABY (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

This image is special because it features a baby with a wonderful smile and happy demeanor. It is a rare occurrence to find a portrait of a baby with such a great smile. The photograph was taken at a studio and was used to produce this vintage real photo postcard. The baby is dressed in white and looks so adorable wearing a white sweater and little booties. The baby is sitting on a chair that is covered by a lace light blanket. I am unsure how the baby is safely held in the chair. There is no evidence of a hidden mother’s hands or a device to hold the baby safely in place. A studio backdrop can be seen in the background. The AZO stamp box on the reverse of the image indicates that the postcard was produced sometime between 1924 and 1949

Published in: on April 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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TWO PORTRAITS OF BEAUTIFUL BRITISH ACTRESS/SINGER: WINIFRED BARNES (PHOTOS BY RITA MARTIN)

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These vintage real photo postcards feature British actress Winifred Barnes. She is absolutely beautiful and photographer, Rita Martin did a fine job of capturing both her beauty and personality in these photographs. It is not surprising that Rita Martin produced such fine photo postcards. Miss Martin was well known for her expertise in taking portraits of theater stars and other celebrities. Other images by Rita Martin can be seen by clicking on the Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Photographer: Rita Martin”. Barnes made her theatrical debut in a minor role in “Our Miss Gibbs” at the Gaiety Theater in 1909. Great Britain’s National Portrait Gallery has ten portraits of Winifred Barnes including one by Rita Martin. Her obituary appears in the New York Times (1935). The article describes her as a former chorus girl who became a star. She was one of George Edwardes’s leading actresses. Edwardes (1855-1915) was an English theatre manager and producer who received much credit for his contribution to British musical theatre. Many of Barnes’s major roles occurred during the first World War. She scored a huge success in the production of “Betty” (1915) at Daly’s Theatre. After her 1924 marriage to barrister, Roy Faulkner, she became a successful poultry farmer. She also became widely known for her cooking expertise. Both of these photo postcards were produced by Rotary Photo of London. The two postcards are part of a series (A. 1123-1) and (11867 A).

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MARTE HARRELL: PRETTY AUSTRIAN ACTRESS OF THEATER, FILM, AND TELEVISION

Marte Harell (1907-1996) was an Austrian film actress. She was married to Karl Hartl (1899-1978), an Austrian film director. Harell’s filmography includes “Women Are No Angels” (1943), “After The Storm” (1948), and “The Congress Dances” (1955). She was active in film and television between 1939 and 1981. Early and late in her career she also did theater. She made her film debut at age 32. She was in a number of films by Wien-Film. Hartl was the production manager of the company. This photo postcard was made for Wien-Film. The postcard is part of a series (no. A 3645/1). It is likely that this is a photograph of Miss Harell in costume for one of her film roles

Published in: on April 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF TWO WELL DRESSED AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

This vintage real photo postcard features two well dressed African American men posing for their portrait at an unknown photography studio. The men look quite fashionable. The shorter man is wearing a single breasted jacket and fedora while the taller gentleman is wearing a bowler hat and double breasted suit.The postcard has an “AZO” stamp box indicating it was produced sometime between 1904 and 1918.

Published in: on April 4, 2017 at 10:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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TWO PRETTY TEENAGE GIRLS READING “THE LETTER” (CIRCA 1911 REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

This vintage real photo postcard features two pretty teenage girls reading a letter together. One wonders about the content of “the letter”. It certainly has put smiles on these girl’s faces. Both girls are well dressed and wearing necklaces and hair accessories. The girl holding the letter is also wearing a bracelet and a ring. This postcard was published by AZO sometime between 1904 and 1918.

Published in: on March 25, 2017 at 5:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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TWO YOUNG DANDIES AND AN OPEN BOOK

 

This vintage real photo postcard features two young dandies viewing an open book. They are exquisitely dressed and look like perfect gentlemen. A script of their dialog is printed below the image. Bacarel states to Paul, “A superb point of view”. Paul responds “What an enchanting landscape”. The men are seated on outdoor furniture. The fabric of the chairs present a nice checkered pattern. In the distance are snowy mountain caps. This postcard image is from a studio, yet creates a pretty scene. The postcard is addressed to a central French town named Mezieres en Brenne. The postcard was published by “AS”. I have no exact  identification of this company. Possibilities include “Alfred Schweizer” (Hamburg, Germany), Arthur Schurer & Company (Schoneberg, Germany), or A. Scheers (Brussels, Belgium). The postcard is part of a series (no. 747,  no. 3228).

Published in: on March 24, 2017 at 7:09 pm  Comments (2)  
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BEAUTIFUL ANGLO-GERMAN FILM ACTRESS LILLIAN HARVEY

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This vintage real photo postcard (top postcard) features Anglo-German actress and singer, Lillian Harvey (1906-1968). Her acting base was in Germany. Harvey was born in Hornsey, England to an English mother and a German father. During World War I her family was “trapped” in Magdeburg, Germany and Harvey was sent to live with her Swiss aunt. After the war she finished school in Berlin and than studied voice and dance at the Berlin State Opera. In 1924 she earned a role as a revue dancer in Vienna. This was followed by her first movie role which was in an Austrian film named “The Curse”. Thereafter, she starred in multiple silent films. Her first leading role was in “The Passion” (1925). Because of her voice training, Harvey was able to make the transition into “talkies”. She and actor Willy Fritsch became the “dream couple” of German movies. The pair acted together in eleven movies. In the 1930’s Harvey’s films appeared in both German and English and she became popular outside of Germany. She went to Hollywood and made four movies for the Fox Film Corporation (this postcard is from that period). In 1935, Harvey returned to Germany. She appeared in several more films and soon she was under the watchful eye of the Gestapo. Harvey had many Jewish friends in the film industry  and she was supportive of them. By 1939, Miss Harvey was forced to leave Germany, leaving behind valuable real estate holdings. She went to France where, in 1940, she made two movies for director Jean Boyer. In 1943 she was stripped of her German citizenship because she had performed for French troops. When southern France was occupied by the Nazis in 1942, she emigrated to the United States. During the war she did some theatre acting and also worked as a homeside volunteer nurse. After the war, Harvey relocated to Paris. She went on a world tour as a singer and in 1949 made appearances in West Germany. She spent her retirement on the French Riviera (Antibes) where she had a souvenir shop and raised snails for escargot. Harvey was married one time. Her four year marriage to theater director Hartvig Valeur-Larsen ended in divorce. Eventually she settled down with her female partner Else Pitty Wirth (1907-2007). Interestingly, the two women are buried together in Antibes. The imdb gives Harvey 54 acting credits between 1925 and 1940. Interestingly, Lillian Harvey’s name is mentioned in Quentin Tarantino’s film  “Inglorious Bastards” (2009). One of her songs is played on a phonograph and in addition one of the characters in the film mentions liking Harvey’s performance in a film and Joseph Goebbels becomes angry and insists her name never be mentioned in his presence. Click on the link below to hear the Lillian Harvey/Willy Fritsch duet used in the Tarantino movie. The 1936 song is titled “Ich Wollt Ich War Ein Huhn” (I Wish I Was A Chicken). Now would be a good time to discuss this postcard portrait of Miss Harvey. She is looking quite decorated in this photograph. She is wearing a garland of leaves in her hair, a very ornate necklace, a number of large bracelets, two giant rings, and a jeweled clasp on her dress near her cleavage. Note her very notable eye lashes. She is wearing a somewhat provocative dress and it is clear that the aim of the photographer is to emphasize Miss Harvey’s sexiness. The photographer and Miss Harvey succeeded in accomplishing this goal. The postcard was published by the German firm Ross Verlag and was part of a series (no. 8679/1). The postcard credits Fox films.

The second postcard features Miss Harvey in a risque costume. She is showing a “lot of leg” which is quite provocative for her time. It is likely that this image captures her in one of her film roles. The postcard was published by Argenta, which was located in Munich, Bavaria.

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