It appears that the two young women seen in this portrait are dressed and ready for the French Carnival. The festival occurs after the “Feast of Fools” and has been a tradition since the sixteenth century or earlier. The girls in the photograph of this vintage real photo postcard are dressed as gypsies and holding stereotypical tambourines. The girls are about in their teenage years. They were photographed by Monsieur Henry of Chalon-Sur-Saone, France. The city is located in the south of the Burgundy region of that nation. I wonder what the fascination is with gypsies? The obsession is apparent when one looks at postcards from around the turn of the century (1800’s to the 1900’s). An observer of these postcards will see gypsies here, there, and everywhere. Perhaps visitors to the cabinet card gallery would like to hypothesize about this cultural phenomenon. I would appreciate your input. Now, back to this postcard. The previous owner of this postcard translated the message as “Remember with affection your little girlfriend. A thousand kisses, Germaine”. My guess is that the shorter woman in this image is Mlle Germaine.
TWO TEENAGE GYPSY GIRLS PREPARE FOR CARNIVAL IN CHALON SUR SAONE, FRANCE (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)
The top Cabinet Card is an image of two Salvation Army workers photographed by Suddard of Fall River, Massachusetts. The young couple are both in uniform; he has a tambourine and she is holding a trumpet. It is interesting to note that he is wearing a late 1800’s version of an embossed tee shirt. His shirt’s lettering states “NO CROSS NO CROWN”. A present day, non religious meaning of this saying would be “no pain, no gain”. The motto on the shirt was a widely used expression and an early user of the phrase was William Penn, the founder of the Quaker colong of Pennsylvania. The second photograph, also by Suddard, shows the same couple in a different studio setting. Once again, the couple is attired in a salvation army uniform. The gentleman is wearing a different style uniform than he wore in the top photograph. In the bottom photograph, the woman has taken possession of the tambourine and the man is holding papers. These two cabinet cards were purchased more than two years apart and I am fairly certain that they were purchased from different sellers. Amazingly, these images have ended up together again. A third cabinet card image by Suddard can be found elsewhere in the Cabinet Gallery. It can be accessed by clicking the category “Photographers: Suddard”.
This cabinet card captures a gypsy woman with her tambourine held above her head. She is wearing multiple bracelets and necklaces, as well as linked chains. She is wearing what appears to be a head scarf, stockings, and a very interesting cloth belt. She may be an actual gypsy, or perhaps an actress in costume. The photographer is H. M. Finley of Canandagua, New York. Canandaigua is located in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Horace M. Finley (1839-?) was born in Canandaigua and educated in local schools. After completing school he worked for his father’s photographic studio. His father, Marshall Finley, was a co author of one of the first American photography books (1849). Horace Finley worked as a photographer for many years; he was listed as an artist, or photographer, in the census’s of 1860 through 1900. To view other photographs by Finley, click on category “Photographer: Finley”.
A young woman poses for this Cabinet Card photograph at the studio of I. L. Hammond in Lewiston, Maine. She is wearing the attire of the salvation army and is holding a tambourine. Note her bonnet and the structure of the dress which creates the appearance of a thin midriff. One of Hammond’s photographs appears in the autobiography of Marsden Hartley (1877-1943) who was an American modernist painter, poet, and essayist in the early 20th century.