MISS PAULETTE: RISQUE PORTRAIT OF AN EXTREMELY BEAUTIFUL ACTRESS

beauty unknown

The beautiful woman seen on this vintage real photo postcard is Miss Paulette. I have been unable to find biographical information about her. The former owner of this photo postcard identified her as Miss Paulette and stated she performed in Paris at the Folies Bergere, a cabaret music hall established in 1869. This portrait of the actress is risque for it’s era but it is certainly tastefully done. In an attempt to identify this actress, I came across the five postcards seen below. I believe that the pretty woman seen in the postcard above is Paulette Del Baye although I lack any concrete convincing evidence. This postcard has a German stamp that is postmarked in Rixdorf (a neighborhood in Berlin). The card was postmarked 1912.  The postcard was published by Neue Photographische Gesellschaft (NPG) which was located in Berlin and Stuttgart, Germany.The company was in business between 1894 and 1948. It was founded by Arthur Black (1862-1943) and it became one of the most well known and largest companies involved in the production of postcards.

 

Vintage French RPPC Postcard Artist Stage Star Miss Paulette   Paulette

Image result for postcard Miss paulette  Paulette

Image result for postcard Miss paulette  Paulette Del Baye

Image result for postcard Miss paulette  Paulette Del Baye

c-1907-French-Theater-Beauty-Mlle-DEBRIVES-fashion-tinted-photo-postcard  Paulette Debrives

Paulette Debrives

Advertisements

PRETTY ITALIAN ACTRESS AND WRITER MARCELLA ALBANI

 

albani

albani 1

Marcella Albani (1899-1959) was an Italian film actress that appeared in 50 films between 1919 and 1936. Albani was “discovered” by writer/director Guido Parish (Schamberg) when she was twenty years old. They became a very successful film couple until 1924 when they parted ways. Their movies were predominately tear jerkers and adventure stories. The actress also worked with other famous directors such as Joe May, Friedrich Zelnik, and Wilhelm Dieterle. Albani was a major star in the European cinema in the late 1920’s. Her films were made in five different European countries. Many of Albani’s roles were portraying elegant Latin beauties. She certainly looks elegant and beautiful in this postcard portrait. She is dressed exquisitely and her hat is a fashion statement in itself. At the advent of sound movies, Miss Albani turned to writing. One of her several novels was turned into a movie. She continued to act until 1936. Albani was married to director Mario Franchini in 1931. The top vintage real photo postcard is of German origin by Ross Verlag of Berlin. The postcard is part of a series (no. 1521/1). The photo is by Aafa film. According to one reliable source, the postcard was issued sometime between 1927 and 1928. The bottom postcard features a beautiful risque portrait of Miss Albani. The publisher of this postcard is also Ross Verlag of Berlin, Germany. The postcard is part of a series (no. 596/3). Printed on the postcard is the name “Albani Film”. The company was a film production and distribution firm and was active in 1934.

                                                          Reverse of Top Postcard

albani 2                                                     Reverse of Bottom Postcard

 

THE SAD STORY OF VILMA BANKY: BEAUTIFUL SILENT FILM STAR

 

banky

 

banky-1

This vintage real photo postcard features beautiful and sensuous actress Miss Vilma Banky (1901-1991). She was born in Hungary but was an American silent film actress. She began her acting career in Budapest and later France, Austria, and Germany. In 1925, Banky was plucked from Europe by Hollywood film producer Samuel Goldwyn. American audiences fell in love with her and she earned the moniker of “The Hungarian Rhapsody”. In a review of her first film, “The Dark Angel” (1925), the New York Times (1925) described Banky as “a young person of rare beauty”. In the mid and late 1920’s she was Goldwyn’s biggest money maker. Some of her most famous roles were in the films “The Eagle” (1925) and the “The Son of the Sheik” (1926). She played romantic roles opposite Ronald Coleman and Rudolph Valentino. The advent of sound films is believed to have short circuited her acting career. Apparently her thick Hungarian accent was unacceptable. However, around the time of the introduction of sound films, it is thought that she had lost her enthusiasm about films and was more interested in settling down with actor Rod La Rocque (1898-1969), whom she married in 1927. Goldwyn gave the bride away and Cecil B. DeMille was the best man. By 1928, she was talking of retirement. In all, she made 24 films of which only eight remain in existence in their complete form. Her filmography begins in 1919 and ends in 1933. After leaving filmdom, she and her husband had a career in real estate and she pursued the sport of golf. The Chicago Tribue (1993) entitled Banky’s obituary “Silent Film Star Makes Dramatic Exit”. It is interesting to note that the article appeared nearly two years after her death. It seems that the press and Hollywood watchers never noticed her death. Apparently she lay sick in bed for the last ten years of her life, at home, and later in a nursing facility, without any visitors. The author of the article asserts “She died the nightmare death of every elderly person, alone, her life unremembered, her passing unlamented”. Banky was upset and angry about being abandoned, that she instructed her attorney to inform no one, including the newspapers, upon her passing. The attorney followed her instructions but when the press eventually learned of her death, the lawyer stated to reporters that Banky had no visitors because none of her friends or family still survived. She left a $600,000 trust fund to her sister’s two children in Hungary. After a difficult search the attorney found the two nieces in rural Hungary “living in peasant squalor”. The women had never met their Aunt and the last letter exchanged with Banky had been thirty years earlier. Banky’s lawyer had his hands full because a German heir hunting company had found them first and got them to sign over twenty percent of their inheritance for a finding-fee. At the time of the articles publication, the lawyer planned to pay off the company with a smaller fee and set up distant banking for the nieces who lived in an area that had no banks. Although after her death, the lawyer turned out to be a committed and wonderful friend to Vilma Banky and her family. This vintage postcard was produced by the Iris Verlag company. Iris Verlag was the most important Austrian publisher of film star postcards. It operated from Vienna during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The postcard is part of a series (no.695/3). The photographer of this portrait of Banky is Halasz of Budapest. The postcard was made for Fanamet-film which was a Austrian film distribution company.

banky-2

MOLLIE FULLER: STAGE ACTRESS AND VAUDEVILLE PERFORMER

molly fuller

This cabinet card is a portrait of Mollie (Molly) Fuller (1868-1933), a Boston born stage and vaudeville performer. She appeared in two Broadway plays but is better known for her vaudeville career. She was the second wife of Frederick Hallen (1859-1920) and the couple were a popular team on the vaudeville stage for nearly twenty-five years. They were known for their short comedic plays. Mollie’s resume includes performances in “Adonis” and in “Evangeline”, both plays by  Edward Rice. He biggest hit was her starring role in “The Twentieth Century Girl” (1895). When producer Edward Albee learned Mollie was near blind an impoverished in Chicago, he arranged to bring her to New York. He commissioned a theater piece to be written for her to perform in. She returned to the stage to perform in the resulting playlet “Twilight”. Mollie was the sister of Loie Fuller (1862-1928). Loie was a pioneer of modern dance and theatrical lighting techniques. Among Loie’s skills was her talent as a “skirt dancer”. She died in Hollywood, California, at the age of 68 in 1933. At the time of her death she was receiving assistance from “Troupers”, a national vaudeville players association. This cabinet card was issued by “Newsboy” which was a tobacco company that used cabinet cards as premiums to encourage sales of their tobacco products. This image is number forty-one of a series.

THE SCANTILY CLAD BELLY DANCING HARRISON SISTERS CAVORT TOGETHER

harrison

Meet the Harrison Sisters, or the “Sisters Harrison” if you prefer the title on this vintage real photo postcard. The sisters are dressed like belly dancers and perhaps that is their trademark talent. Judging by their expressions, the young women don’t appear to be too interested in their career choice. Note the dancer’s sheer skirts and abundance of jewelry. The provocative skirts and the performer’s bikini top certainly makes this a risque photograph for it’s era. Postcard images such as this often appeared with a Salome theme. Salome, the daughter of Herod II and Herodias is involved in the story of John the Baptist, or more specifically, the head of John the Baptist. Salome was a popular subject in literature, theater, and art around the time that these images were produced. Salome became a symbol for dangerous female seductiveness. To make a long story longer, I am not sure if the inspiration of this postcard’s image is Middle Eastern belly dancing or the temptress Salome. Preliminary research uncovered nothing about the “Sisters Harrison” and clearly more extensive investigation is required. Perhaps the Cabinet Card Gallery’s research department (it’s visitors) have some information to share about these dancing siblings.

harrison 1

Published in: on December 12, 2015 at 12:47 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

MABEL MAY-YONG

mabel

Mabel May Yong (1883-1945) was an Australian born actress and dancer. She appeared in German films. The IMDB reports that she had 21 film appearances between 1920 and 1925. In some of the early films she was billed as Mabel May. She portrayed the exotic, sexy,  scantily clad Mata Hari or Salome type. She is often considered the German equivalent of Theda Bara. She had the lead in a vampire film “What the Skull Tells” (1921). Interestingly, she appeared in a film called “Women Who Commit Adultery ( 1922). Mabel May Yong was quite prolific in regard to her numerous film appearance in the early 1920’s. However, her success was short lived. Perhaps a cabinet card gallery visitor can explain what happened to Miss Yong personally and professionally after her early success. This rare vintage real photo postcard was published in Munich, Germany by Percy Hein.

mabel 1

Published in: on December 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (9)  
Tags: , , ,

MYSTERY CHANTEUSE PHOTOGRAPHED BY NADAR

ILBERT_0002This Cabinet Card presents a bit of a mystery.  The photograph is by famed French photographer, P. Nadar of Paris. The subject of the photograph is a mystery. The reverse of the card has the name “Ilbert”  written in two places. In addition the word “Chanteuse” also appears. Is she an opera singer? Is she a nightclub singer? The woman is very stylish and is wearing a fur and interesting hair clip. Hopefully, a viewer will leave a comment with some identifying information.                                                    ADDENDUM: This photograph entered into the cabinet card gallery in 2009. Since then there have been a number of cabinet card gallery visitors that have left comments concerning the identity of the subject of this  image. There has been some disagreement, but at least two visitors have identified this performer as being Yvette Guilbert (1867-1944). To follow the discussion about identification, check out the comment section below. Now back to Mlle Guilbert. Born as Emma Laure Esther Guilbert, she began singing as a child but worked at a Paris department store model when she turned sixteen. She also took acting and voice lesson and in 1886 she began working as an actress. She debuted at the Variette Theatre in 1888. She was soon singing at a number of popular clubs before starring in Montmartre at the Moulin Rouge in 1890. Over time she began to sing a lot of  monologue “patter songs”. Often the lyrics were risque, even raunchy. Her song frequently featured tragedy and poverty. Guilbert was audacious and audiences ate it up. She was celebrated in France, England and the United States. She was a favorite subject of artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who made many portraits and caricatures of Guilbert. Later in her career, she appeared in silent movies, talkies and made recordings. She also wrote books about the Belle Epoque. It is interesting to note that Nadar, the photographer of the mystery chanteuse also photographed Yvette Guilbert. A Nadar photograph of Mlle Guilbert is part of the collection at the National Library of France. A copy of that image can be found below.

btv1b53092288b

 

 

Published in: on December 1, 2015 at 12:01 pm  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

LADY BALL WALKER: CIRCUS BALANCING ACT PERFORMER IN BUFFALO, NEW YORK

ball walker

This cabinet card portrait features a pretty young woman who likely performed in a balancing act for an unidentified circus. She has one foot on a ball that was used for balancing feats. The photograph is a bit risque for it’s era. The young lady is displaying a bit of a devilish grin. Note the upside down ghost image at the top of this image. The logo of the McDannell studio in Wattsburg, Pennsylvania is visible and the cause of this phenomenon is that this cabinet card was likely stored face-to-face with the McDannell cabinet card and The McDannell logo was pressed printed onto this circus performer photograph. It is worth mentioning that one of Mcdannell’s photographs is a resident of the Cabinet Card Gallery collection. The above cabinet card image was produced by the Rykert studio in Buffalo, New York. Chauncy W. Rykert and William Rykert were both photographers in Buffalo. Both men shared a studio on Buffalo’s Jefferson Street in the late 1870’s. Chauncy is the most likely one who produced this image as he remained a photographer in Buffalo for many more years than William.

Published in: on October 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

FLORENCE COLLINGBOURNE: STAGE ACTRESS

collingbourne1

green 2

The beautiful woman pictured in this Cabinet card is stage actress, Florence Collingbourne. Obtaining significant biographical information about her has been difficult and further research will be done and provided in an addition to this blog. However, information from readers about this stage beauty will be appreciated.  The Cabinet card was produced by the Rotary Photographic Company which also produced many postcards with images of theatrical stars. This Cabinet card was published  in London, England. The second image displayed is a vintage real photo postcard also featuring the beautiful Miss Collingbourne (1880-?). The postcard was published by the Rotary Photo Company. The reverse of the postcard has evidence that it once occupied a photo album.

green 3

Published in: on August 20, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , ,

PAULINE HALL (1860-1919): BEAUTIFUL MUSICAL THEATRE STAR

pauline hall

The top cabinet card features Pauline Hall (1860-1919), one of the most popular turn of the century prima donnas. She began her career as a dancer in Cincinnati, Ohio at age 15. She joined the Alice Oats Opera Company but left to tour in plays with famed actress Mary Anderson. By 1880, she worked for well known producer Edward Everett Rice in musical productions. Early in their association, he gave her a role in “Evangeline”. Her shapely figure allowed her to take male roles as she did in “Ixion” (1885). Her greatest success came in the title role of the first American production of  “Erminie” (1886). She played in more than two dozen Broadway operettas. Her final role was in the “Gold Diggers” (1919). This photograph was taken by famed celebrity photographer, Elmer Chickering of Boston, Massachusetts. Other photographs by Chickering can be seen by clicking on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category of “Photographer: Chickering, E.”. The second cabinet card, photographed by B. J. Falk, of New York City, captures Pauline Hall in stage costume. The photograph is #305 in a series from Newsboy. The tobacco company (Newsboy) gave away cabinet cards as a premium with the purchase of their products. This cabinet card shows a copyright date in the 1890’s. The exact date has become illegible over time. To view other Newsboy or Falk cabinet cards, click on the categories “Photographer: Falk” or “Photographer: Newsboy”. The third cabinet card portrait was also photographed by Falk. Ms. Hall looks quite beautiful in this image. She is wearing earrings and an interesting hat. The photograph is a bit risque. Much of her neck and shoulders are exposed. In addition, her dress accentuates and reveals significant cleavage. Is the material at the base of her scoop neckline part of her dress; or was it added in order to make the photograph less provocative? Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery will be able to provide an explanation. The fourth cabinet card image, once again photographed by B J Falk, features Miss Hall wearing a dark dress, long gloves, a lovely hat, and a purse. Pauline Hall certainly was a stage beauty as attested by this photograph.