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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PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN WEARING STARS IN NEW YORK CITY

 

This vintage photograph features a woman who seems intent on making a fashion statement. Unfortunately, it is difficult to interpret the message she is trying to deliver. Certainly she is dressed in a very feminine manner. Some may argue that her attire is very juvenile. The bows on her shoes and her large and frilly bonnet might be expected to be seen on a little girl rather than someone this woman’s age. The woman in this photograph displays an air of confidence and a tight smile. She has a long braid hanging down to her waist decorated by a hair bow. She is holding a fan and wearing a beaded necklace and a bracelet. Perhaps the most striking aspect of this photograph is the pattern on the woman’s dress. The dress has a pattern that consists of five-pointed stars. These stars may have some meaning. Historically five pointed stars have been associated with certain religious, cultural, and fraternal groups. This vintage photograph was taken by a studio located on Strand Avenue in New York City.

Published in: on April 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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CABINET CARD PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG CHILD AND A STACK OF CABINET CARDS

This cabinet card portrait of a young child is a bit unusual because the image features other cabinet cards within it. The child is intensely staring at the photographer while holding a cabinet card in his/her hand. There is a stack of cabinet cards lying on the table. One can imagine that the photographer decided to use the cabinet cards as a prop for this image. The photographer of this image is Luther M. Rice. Mr Rice is a familiar name to the Cabinet Card Gallery. The gallery features a photograph by Charles E. Holman, the brother-in-law of Luther Rice. Rice taught Holman the photography business. The pair worked together for a number of years and in 1879 Rice sold the studio to Holman. Rice was born in Massachusetts in about 1886. In addition to being a photographer, he was also a watercolorist. He began working in Warren (Ohio) by 1868. He partnered with Isaac D. Bliss in 1870 and worked independently from 1875 until 1891. He also had a studio in Chagrin Falls (1896-1897). All dates mentioned in this brief career biography are approximate. Rice’s obituary appeared in the “Bulletin of Photography” (1913). He was 86 years old at the time of his death.

Published in: on March 31, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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SNAPSHOT OF A LOVELY COUPLE IN FRONT OF A BEACH HOUSE

Some couple look like they belong together and the pair in this snapshot are one of those couples. This is a handsome couple. They are posing in their bathing suits in front of a quaint beach house. She is wearing a pioneering bikini and he is wearing an unbuttoned casual shirt displaying part of his bare chest. She is holding a swimming cap. In the background you can see the boardwalk that is between the house and the beach. One can also observe the beach vegetation. In addition, there appears to be beach chairs, or some kind of rack, close behind this romantic couple. The scene reminds me of the beach houses on Fire Island, though this photograph could have been taken at many beach communities along the US east or west coast. This snapshot likely dates back to the 1930’s or 1940’s.

Published in: on March 30, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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THREE YOUNG MEN AND THEIR BICYCLES AND THEIR CIGARETTES

A European (probably French) photography studio created this portrait of three young men posing with two bicycles. The men are well dressed but give the appearance of ruffians. The cigarettes hanging from their lips create a roguish look. Two of the boys are wearing high boots which indicate that they are the bike owners. Tucking pant bottoms into the boots prevented bike accidents. This photo postcard of a trio of bikers is a rare find and likely dates to the 1900’s decade.

Published in: on March 29, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PREPPY LOOKING TEENAGE GIRL ON THE CHEAPSIDE

This cabinet card portrait features a sweet looking teenage girl dressed in what today we might call, a “preppy look”. Perhaps she is a student. Be sure to note her scarf and hat. The girl’s eyes are wide open and she appears to be suppressing a smile. The photographer’s camera captured the girl in an outdoor setting. The photographer was Hy. Flett who operated a studio in London. Interestingly, the studio was located at 119 Cheapside. This image is actually the second cabinet card in the “Cabinet Card Gallery” from a studio on Cheapside. Research revealed that  Cheapside  is the name of a street in the city of London. The name Cheapside is derived from the term “marketplace”. Henry Flett (1872-1948) was born in St. Leonards in Sussex. He operated two London studios. The Cheapside studio existed between 1897 and 1940. His second studio was located at 103 Newgate Street (1903-1909). He partnered with Arthur Frame Stevens in the 1930’s.

Published in: on March 28, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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SENORITA CHRISTIANA: A BEAUTIFUL BRAZILIAN STAGE STAR IN PARIS, FRANCE

This is an opportunity to meet Christiana. One unsourced writer asserts that she was a Brazilian stage star.  I was unable to confirm that assertion. However, I can confirm that Christiana was quite beautiful. This vintage real photo postcard features a profile view of the stage star. She is dressed in a pretty flower patterned dress and is wearing flowers in her long flowing hair. Senorita Christiana’s portrait is by the Walery Studio which was located in Paris, France. The hand tinted postcard was published by the Parisian firm  “ELD” (E. Le Delay) and was part of a series (no. 2002). The postcard advertises the Casino de Paris which was one of the better known music halls in Paris. Christiana clearly performed there. 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. You can view other images by this talented photographer by clicking on the category “Photographer: Walery”.

Published in: on March 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY TEENAGE GIRL IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (PHOTOGRAPH BY J. K. STEVENS)

chicago teeen

This cabinet card portrait of a pretty teenage girl is by esteemed Chicago photographer John Kimball Stevens. A number of photographs by Stevens can be viewed in the cabinet card gallery by clicking on the category “Photographer: Stevens”. Stevens operated his gallery out of the McVicker’s Theatre building. The young woman in this photograph is bright eyed and has a terrific pleasant expression. She is clearly holding back a smile. She apparently liked jewelry as evidenced by her interesting necklace, collar pin, and earrings.

A visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery, named Jon, left a comment indicating that he had found a cabinet card image at a flea market that appeared to be the same woman as the one pictured above.He was kind enough to send a copy of the image that he found (see the image below). I definitely see the similarity in appearance that Jon is referring to. However, the woman in the top cabinet card has a rounded face and springy curls while the woman below has an oval face with thick tight curly hair. In addition, their eyes and smiles are vastly different. Both photographs were taken by the Stevens Gallery which was quite prolific. It is no surprise that they likely had many instances of photographing people that had similar appearance. Thank you Jon for sharing the photograph and your observations.
Reader photo sent Stevens

Published in: on March 26, 2017 at 7:15 am  Comments (7)  
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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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